He Didn’t Trust Love Songs

He didn’t trust love songs.

They seemed nothing more than packaging — shiny boxes, painted with pretty girls and handsome boys clinging to their microphones and their machines of music, their faces contorted with emotion that threatened to crush their souls, to erase their very beings, performance after performance.

Empty boxes, empty of love, empty of life.

What could fit in such a small place? Certainly not love. Certainly nothing of depth, nothing with the size and overwhelming complexity of love.


In dark times he would go to the places love songs could be found. They seemed harmless, these puffs of air, these confections of smoke and light, following each other in aimless circles. He listened, waiting for the mask to slip, waiting to glimpse the darker truth that lay behind the emptiness. Each love song is like the one before, but with each he feels closer to something.

Together, all the love songs, all the nothings, add up to a larger zero. The sum of all the boxes with their happy ribbons and and shiny walls is large enough to hold love, but there is something else there instead, the dread secret, the beast waiting to devour his soul. Some nights he could almost hear the demon whipering in the amplifier hiss, he could feel it watching him from flashing video screens.

There is no love; it is gone, lost, as if it never was.

He didn’t trust love songs.

3 thoughts on “He Didn’t Trust Love Songs

  1. Somehow, it seems as if there is a poem in there somewhere. The rhythm is there. The imagery is there. It feels like 14 lines of iambic pentameter, with a subtle rhyme scheme, bittersweet chocolate where milk chocolate is expected.

    Or possibly a villanelle rather than a sonnet, with the keynote repetition.

  2. I started writing it in more of a verse format, but that was one too many things to think about.

    Waking up this morning I realize that this would qualify as flash fiction, and there are markets for that. I was (and am) tempted to remove it from here and try to get it published somewhere slightly more prestigious.

    “More prestigious than Muddled Ramblings?” you gasp. “Can there be such a place?”

    Maybe if I convert it to verse someone might still consider it unpublished.

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