Challenge Accepted

This is a poem about the literal challenge associated with relationships. It’s my reattempt at slam poetry, which I suppose in some way needs to make a statement about society. Let’s hit this with my best shot. Fire awaaaaaay.

I Like You Because You’re a Challenge

My feelings are white pegs on a Battleship board.

I think you heard me say it:
My feelings are insignificant,
don’t matter,
lack value,
can’t take them seriously,
such a joke,
at least for serious folk
who play games with hearts,
Backstreet style,
making a 20-something feel tweenish,
squeamish at the thought
that feelings should not be freed,
but store bought by someone
with the money and the care,
someone who’s mentally ready and there,
to warrant significance.

For now, it’s the same,
store bought, a game
like Monopoly or Uno,
a heart, the bronze thimble,
feelings be nimble,
Jack be dick.

And when those feelings make you sick
the game has ended,
Facebook unfriended,
king killed.

Let me tell you:
queen is thrilled,
because the knight seemed so much more
her type:
armor shining in the light, depending on the set,
the checkerboard her dance floor.

When she finds her knight,
he’ll be too kind
for a damsel in divorce…
her kingdom for a horse
whose rider is hard to capture.
The challenge is the rapture—
the game, the revelry.

But why is it this way?
We like the chase, but not the stay?

Let me make an honest admission here:
we like competition.
The Gingerbread men,
who run, run, run
as fast as they can
taste better when you trick them,
nibbling on their gumdrop buttons
like zombies eating a heart,

and if you’re smart
you’ll bite them back,
sweetness in attack,
then they’ll play;
you, alive to fight another day,
them, rewriting the rules
and searching for cheat codes like treasure,
beauty no longer the measure,
personality, the map
where an ex marks the spot.

Or a red peg marks the second seat
in a patrol boat.

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