I painted a picture with you as my canvas.
Swirls of velvet midnight picnics splattered with unconditional laughter.
Strokes of butterfly kisses tattooed with the fragrance of us.
And I kept painting
even when you stopped reciprocating.
It was only when you walked away I realized every time I stared into your eyes
I wasn’t looking at yours—
I was staring at the reflection of mine.
You were a manifestation of my imagination.
So when you left, what made it hurt less
was realizing I never knew you to begin with.
The painting wasn’t real.
The pain was.