This is a free verse poem that I wrote the week before my 21st birthday. It's about everything I'd personally experienced going into 21, falling in love and breaking up with a girl I'd bent over backwards for. This poem is now 7 years old.


by Oscar Lopez Jr.

I used to have a muse; it was like a gift from you.

It's amusing now, like the drugs I'm not abusing now.

The ex to my execution. Bloody reunion—me versus myself from an alternate realm.

Way off course, hands off the helm.

It's a winter's seldom wish to dine with summer.

I used to have ice, but that shit melted.

I used to have cheddar, but my kids ate it.

I'm a thesaurus on a shelf with books about self-help. Mantras for a quicker way out.

I remember a time on its way out when we would scream and shout.

Our love is a dried ocean and we're not sticking through this bout.

I'll avoid the agony in its face rather than choose a new route.

Without a doubt, this time rests in perfect silence, but it's still imperfect.

I'm allergic to pity. Draw first blood. Downpour. Thank God for this flood.

Wash away the bad from me. A villain turning hero, but my place was displaced,

like a broken childhood, misplaced.

You're a winner, mint on your pillow.

I'm flying without wings. No compromising. Sun keeps rising.

Drown out the bloodshot moon with Visine.


I remember when we first met. Now it's like, "Fuck off!"

Yeah, I'll bet.

She was like, "You're the only man I'll ever forget. The only love I'll ever regret."


Watch me set the highest reach, so when we lose touch, we'll always have the beach.

Who's left to beseech the king, he who sought the bling, and died with a finger for every ring.

Ten in total; it's the kind in the blue box. Start every morning with motivational talks,

metaphorical blocks, for building bonds and stocks.

Selling love out, like a million dollar buy-out, turn around and claim bankruptcy,

and watch the family fail out.

Shit doesn't get fixed with tape when family become like . . . inmates.

Death row, drum roll, welcome home, the seeds we've sewn, the grass will grow . . .

Greener on our side, the neighbors used peroxide, dining on monoxide.

Turn a bronze metal gold in spite of pride.

Said I tried calling, she said, "That's not true. You lie."

Text sent. Never catch a reply.


As a child, my spice was hotter than mild. Make all the girls go wild,

cuz my style could never be copied or cropped,

chopped and redrawn for a generation of scenesters.

Teamsters for nothing special, unoriginal since everything after cashew.

She was an angel, till her wings ran askew.

Now let me ask you, what lies inside? Come out and play. Come home and stay.

And never go away, until it's my time to run away.

Nineteen years from the bay, twenty-one and looking back.

That time is gone, eaten away like a snack.

Put my greatest summer on track, but now it's time to pack.

Take the kids, snow angels in multicolored angles.

She's drunk . . . and more beautiful than ever.

My muse, light as a fleeting feather.


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