Once you pass
through the intolerable pain
of missing the boys
you were never supposed to
fall in love with anyway,
and their memories fade
along with the excitement
of the pleasures
they gave,
and you can only barely
the sound of their voices,
or the sight of shy smiles
upon those handsome faces,
then you can begin.
No longer pinned
beneath your lingering
desire and emotions
you can return your penchant
for obsession and romanticism
back to its rightful altar,
and pour it freely
upon the shrine of your eternal
to be self-sufficient,
and independent,
to create whatever things
fulfill and satisfy
all your dreams and whims.

Hati-Hati translates to “Be Careful” or “Caution” in Indonesian.

HATI-HATI by Ruth Nineke is a collection of poems, dreams, photography, and personal essays reflecting on the author’s love addiction, romanticism and sexuality.

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