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Driven By Love
Kevin Arnold


Perhaps one love is like another when it ends—
      only the one who wanted it to last
      understands the enormity of what's been lost.

At least once you must have lived in that lovesick daze
      and glanced up to see someone who looked
      almost exactly like the lover who scorned you,

and didn't you jump up from your table just to make sure,
      and run full-tilt wherever that person took you,
      driven by adrenaline, driven by hope?

And when, panting, you overtook this stranger,
      what did you do then? Were you apologetic,
      did you say, "Sorry, I mistook you..."

or did you find the righteous power of the jilted lover
      and set things straight right then and there,
      describing the monstrous treatment you'd received,

you, who could have made it all work! Tdid you seize the moment
      and tell the tale in that fervent, yet out-of-control,
      desperate way that we only get to peform a few times

in real life, standing squarely at center stage for once,
      stating, of all the people on this planet,
      you are one of the handful driven by love?

From Do Not Think Badly of Me (Manzanita Writers Press, 2022).
Used here with permission.

Kevin Arnold holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Jose State University. His newest book is Do Not Think Badly of Me (Manzanita Writers Press). Kevin was named "Writer of the Year" by the California Writer's Club. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where he enjoys enjoys skiing, horses, competitive tennis, and duplicate bridge. Learn more about him at




Post New Comment:
wonderful to tap into such a universal situation, increasing its poignancy by addressing the reader directly -"the righteous power of the jilted lover" indeed
Posted 03/17/2022 11:23 PM
Rick Glaze:
This poem has a poignant feeling and a soft delivery. Well done!
Posted 02/06/2022 09:46 PM
Striking and vivid images. An honest rendering of a heartbreaking moment.
Posted 02/06/2022 09:33 PM
A poignant, truthful and somewhat gut wrenching poem by an acclaimed poet.
Posted 02/06/2022 06:26 PM
Terrific - gripping - felt as if I were watching a great movie scene - love the way the poet addresses "you" - "righteous power" and "you, who could have made it all work" are so true!
Posted 02/06/2022 05:43 PM
Lori Levy:
Great portrayal of the jilted lover.
Posted 02/06/2022 11:14 AM

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