I read love poems
and my jealousy shoots
fireworks from broken beer bottles.
Just a big bang followed by a fizzle.
I cannot write love poems.
My first love tried to kill me.
Failed. And attempted
two more times to finish me off.
I do not write love poems.
All I have learned of the heart
is that people who truly love you
do not try to kill you. Not once, not twice,
and certainly not three times.
I do not have a love poem to write.
All I have is that I survived,
that I lived on to write
anything but love poems.
Ann Kestner is the founder and editor of Poetry Breakfast. For over 20 years, her work has periodically appeared in various publications. She spent most of her life in Virginia at the edge of the D.C. suburbs. She currently lives in New Jersey along the Raritan Bay.