Her self-defense mechanism
was to stuff him in a predetermined box
without checking if he matched the label.

Guys only try to be your friend when they want sex,
she tells a mutual friend
as her way of blanket dismissing any hopefuls.

The right, and sometimes duty to herself
to keep such protection cannot be denied
but it doesn’t mean she is always right.

His heart was genuine. Learning love through her,
all he wanted was to see the girl she could be
after allowing herself to shed some anxiety.

But his heart was also damaged. Low on self-esteem
he couldn’t fathom why a relationship wouldn’t form
unless he was just that messed up. A flaw in his code.

This was the unfortunate tipping point for him.
Revengeful fury at another rejection
was never going to turn the momentum around; he’s just so

tired. Immediately regretful of the breakdown,
he’s spent years trying to leave the beginnings of toxicity
in that place where nothing grows. His wasteland.

You would think time would soften the hurt,
but every comfort found came from temporary distraction.
He always falls back into this.

Because she was so unlikely compatible.
Because her wisdom bounced so well off of his.
Because that spiritual connection was so electric

lost in a moment of misinterpretation–
he looks like every other asshole who’s crossed her path
and that is the last thing that she needs, it’s just

not what she was initially getting from him.
He’s aware of that, and it casts a long shadow
stretching through years and years of silent unfulfilled yearning.