Lovesick: A collection of poems for the romantic pessimist

Arranged marriages are often presumed to be cold by nature, but my family taught me how loving they truly are.

Under the Arch

Lovesick: A collection of poems for the romantic pessimist

The clichés of love aren’t always as great as they seem. These four poems touch on different aspects of love: the honeymoon phase, self-worth, love bombing, good old-fashioned red flags and everything in between.

An illustration of a woman wrapped in a purple blanket, with her brown hair in a bun. She is eating ice cream in bed, watching "The Notebook" on a laptop sitting in front of her.

Popular rom-coms framing our perception of love (Aaliya Luthra for WSN)

Catherine Kenny, Contributing Writer | Feb 26, 2023

Good on Paper

art doesn’t look as

 pretty up close

so paint my gray skies blue 

with full words and empty actions

and sorries and promises

are easy to confuse 

with compromises and a little concealer

aren’t love bites just bruises

by any other name? 

would smell as sweet

as poisonous love potions

poured down my throat

while my mouth opens to declare

my unending love

that should end 

for a person i just met

in a city that never sleeps

i’ll always dream of you

because a figment 

is always better than a 



The Lover’s Portrait




you would draw my eyes

pupils striking

irises icy

full of secrets, tears, mischief

you would sketch some silhouette

with curves

razor-soft edges




pen refusing to leave the page

turning, dipping, cutting silkily 

press the print against me

marking your success

forcing your lines upon

My lines 

don’t render simply into place

or drop chemises

or caress sterling skin

My lines

and I



fail to impress


Genesis 2:22

Taken from a rib and thrown in the garden, I was made for this. 

Falling face first into foggy bathroom mirrors.

Winking through heavy lashes, squirming into damp leather skirts.

I say, “Love me, fuck me, buy me a drink” without uttering a word. 

Beckoning with wide hips in tantalizing dark alleys.

Pour a love potion into my glass, I promise I won’t look. 

Give in to the temptation, I promise I won’t scream. 

God made woman that man should command her.” 

I was made for this; you made yourself into Him.


Just Another Romantic Sonnet

By any other name would smell as sweet.

Save that rose has been but ne’er deflowered.

From another, reputation soured.

Perfection upheld to man’s own conceit. 

Was I shaped so as to have you complete?

Strapping heroes are but monsters shrouded.

Ignoring silence, consent be damned.

Hearing, “I, Dear Lord, am yours to entreat.” 

Howbeit, romance doth protest too much.

Allowances made, pure masthead be wheft.

Do as you please, corrupt the heart you sought.

Consummate my love through merciless touch. 

Petals ravaged ‘til nothing sacred left.

As I bleed, “He loves me, he loves me not.”