Love is like a box of chocolates

Love is like a box of chocolates.
You see her in the crowd, all dressed in bows and lace
Her colours pop amidst the dismal greys
And you think, for a second, do I have enough?

Your hand shakes
Change rattling in pockets
Desperate to claim her before prince charming comes back,
Because that man is more than twice of you,
And even if he stepped down off his mighty steed
You would still be shorter, smaller,
Like jam between his toes,
An ant staring up at great laces and bows.
She’s beautiful.

You climb the outside of her box like a mountain hiker,
Lungs drawing breath, then failing,
Heart beating, then stalling.
The air is so thin up here, that when you reach her lips—
Not for a kiss, but just the chance to speak with her—
Words are not enough to express
How she stole your breath away.

Chocolate boxes sit on shelves, all dressed in delight.
Hands shake as she walks home with you.
Heart beats faster, waiting for that day when man will be husband and she will be wife
And then… you can pull off the ribbons, and bows, and lace.

Love is like a box of chocolates
Never knowing what you might get.
But boxes have labels read by in-laws at table.
Chocolates have wrappers,
Unopened, fresh, unbroken…
Or perhaps broken.
Pieced together and wrapped in foil frame,
Done up with a red bow,
And like a stop light it screams,
But you press on, blind to box labels and deaf to in-laws.

You peal off the label on that wedding night.
Her dress falls, silk to cover the alabaster of her skin.
You pull her close, rough hands caressing hers—smooth as chocolate—
And for a moment you think, this is it.
Then, you roll her between the sheets, take a bite, and faint beneath the flood.
Sweet. Sweat. Wet with caramel gushing from the fountains of her deep.
And you laugh, and love, consume each other;
Lick creamy milk chocolate melted on fingertips.
Love is sweet.

Like a child on Christmas morning, you rush
Opening presents, longing for the next candy inside.
The wrapper falls away and you swallow it whole,
Savour the chocolate as it melts down your throat,
Salty caramel exploding from within,
Leaving you longing like a love addict.
Can’t wait to come home for your next fix of her beauty.
She is your delight.
The apple of your eye, your salt and light.
Love is salty.

The next chocolate is smashed.
A mess underfoot, stuck to the wrapper,
And when you peel her open, she pulls those covers tight
Hides her nakedness. Shame.
Not willing you to see that part of her,
To taste the dirt mixed with broken candy shards:
The one who paid for nothing, but ripped her open
Ravaged the chocolate like a rabid dog at prey…
Then spat her out.
Disgusted.
Wrapped her back up in pretty bows
Left for another to discover.
You to discover.
Love is broken.

You try to remind her of that day
All wrapped in bows and lace.
Breath catches in your throat again, words failing.
This time, it is not her beauty that stops you so… but tears.
Her label is faded, and now you see why,
A woman trying to scratch the pain away,
Cover it in sweetness and wrappers,
Tears bleeding the ink.

You tell her, “We can get past this.”
Reminder her of your love.
Work her wrappings off again,
But she holds back,
And when finally you coax her,
The chocolate pops in your mouth like a sour patch kid,
But she is not a kid.
A woman angered that you would ignore her pain,
Throw away the broken with the used up wrapper,
Only keeping the parts of her that you like.
Love is sour.

You bite down, hard,
Try to draw her in with your arms,
But she pulls away
With dark circles under her eyes
90% pure and 10% soft cream–
Feeling 10% hard and 90% dirty–
The silky smooth milk of that chocolate first no more than a memory.
Love is bitter.

You stare at the empty box in your hands,
Watch her back as she goes,
Still feeling the salty longing on your tongue for her,
But now it shares a place on your face with salty tears,
And an empty heart like a chocolate box.

Love can be like a box of chocolates,
In so many ways.
Sweet, salty, broken, sour, bitter, empty…
But it is not a box of chocolates.

Love ebbs and flows like the mighty ocean
And you drown in those waves,
Kiss in the rain beneath those crests
Then get lost for a time in the after-wake…
Heart empty like that chocolate box in hand.

See, with chocolate, what is bitter is bitter
And sweet is sweet,
But love ebbs bitter and flows sweet,
Then crashes down leaving salty droplets dribbling.

And so, you stand with an empty box of chocolates,
Waiting for the next wave, sweet smell of love on its crest.
When sweetness comes, breathe her in like a whole field of flowers just for you.
Linger beneath the caress of that salty wave,
And when it crashes, leaving a sour taste in your mouth,
And empty chocolate box,
And bitter remembrance of her kiss.
Breathe in hard.
Squint.
Wait for the one flavour that chocolate does not have:
Love is forever.

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