This is not a traditional-style Valentine’s Day poem.
I originally wrote this as prose, years ago, for submission to another forum, one that had solicited for various categories of extremely short stories, including a call for stories of no more than 150 characters. This one uses 146 characters, just so you don’t have to count. My submission was rejected by the editors of that other forum, and I shelved it for a time.
As I finally publish it, I thought perhaps the juxtaposition of today (Friday the 13th of February, 2009) and tomorrow (Valentine’s Day) would offer readers a chance to reflect on the notion that not all love stories are played out with chocolate hearts and red roses.
To my surprise, a friend who once previewed this work referred to it as a poem rather than a short story. On reflection, I decided that almost anything so textually short was at risk of being thought of in such a way. Rather than fight it, I embraced the idea and broke the lines in free verse style. But you may refer to it either way, as prose or poem, with my thanks for taking the time to read it at all.
By the way, the photo and artistic composition are my own work as well.
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Originally published February 13, 2009 at Open Salon, where I wrote under my own name, Kent Pitman.
Tags (from Open Salon): love, caring, poem, poetry, raped, aftermath of rape, rape aftermath, emotional scars, emotional scars, rape survivor, sex, intimacy, strained, difficult, pain