The Idea of Love

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Artwork by Midori Friedbauer

The idea of love

It twists itself into a coil

Wrapping itself up into a hard

KNOT, a solid // heavy bulging

cluster pushing up on

the heart from below //

the abdomen

where the butterflies search

finding nourishment // human sorrow

ONCE rooted,

it sprouts black tendrils

hot and sharp, digging

slowly into the network

of nerves bundled // on the little airlocks

that sit on each side of the human engine

// Leaving little room for breath,

and plenty for bile


This is a poem about how I felt when someone who hurt me told me afterward that they loved me. It was a confusing and painful experience. It was an alien, violent caricature of love. I subverted the idea of the butterflies one gets in their stomach when they have loving feelings for someone. Instead the butterflies feed on human sorrow like vultures, and the idea of love takes physical manifestation as a malevolent force that attacks one's vital organs.

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