. Aftertaste Love at first sip was so cloyingly sweet, When I’d have gladly laid all at his feet, Sworn by the heavens his eminent worth, Followed him unto the ends of the earth. Tragic, how quickly he emptied the glass; Shocking, how hastily pleasures can pass. Salty the drops that I wept in the void, Finding my heart all at once unemployed Now he’d found joy in another’s embrace. Sharp were the pangs when they laughed in my face; Biting the wounds that reality wrought, Sour the savor of lingering thought. Bitter my memories, and bitter my tears; Bitter in prospect my future appears. Bitter the aftertaste of our last kiss--- Bitter the romance that ended like this! . . Split Ends Now, this is just to say (and please don’t laugh) That since the other day, if you recall, At dinner when I ate the other half Of what had started off as your meatball, I feel akin to you more than before, And I begin to dream about your face; Yes, now I long to see you more and more--- Oh (is it wrong?), I yearn for your embrace! It must suffice to bask in your bright smile; It sure is nice to drown in your dark eyes. Eager, I wait for our “once in a while” More than of late. The reason, I surmise--- That’s just how parted meatballs tend to roll: The halves in you and me want to be whole. . . At a Loss for Similes Liquid and glowing, like sweet molasses, __And yet much blacker still by far; Expansive and dark as the midnight sky __Yet tightly gripping as molten tar; Translucent as shards of obsidian--- __Onyx-toned, and yet lucid and bright; Mysterious as deepest abyss, yet lit __By thousands of sparks---a starry night; Like charcoal, potential of secret heat __Liable at any moment to blaze--- To make contact at all with eyes like these __Is to be utterly lost in their gaze. . . From Afar An Acrostic Sonnet For fear of falling victim to your charms, Outcast I am from your society, Retreating from your most enticing arms--- But hating every minute that I’m free. Impossibility, that brave deterrent, Despairs to quench my misdirected ardor; Delight persists, a stubborn undercurrent, Exultant in the need to struggle harder. _Nearness is heaven; separation, hell; __Felicity---to keep you in my sight, ___Regarding not this infinite divide. _Undaunted, I remain beneath your spell, __Imagining the wondrous things that might ___Take place---if ever I gave in and tried. . . Combinatorics Perhaps, if I just persevere, Eventually the lines will fall Right where they ought to be, my dear; Maybe, if I just give my all Until I get each sequence right, The key to finding joy and bliss And happiness will come to light. Till then, I only promise this: I’ll try the paths out, one by one, Observe the ones that prove most true, Not tiring till my goal is won--- So long as I end up with you. . . A Pennsylvania native now residing in Colorado, Anna J. Arredondo is an engineer by education, a home educator by choice, and by preference, a poet. She also has poems published in Light, The Lyric, and Time of Singing.