All the Same to Me

All the Same to Me
by Jonella Allen


Fiction or real.
It’s all the same.
All the same to me.

Searching, or is it stalking,
this vicarious heart in pieces.
The love was never mine so I
cannot claim this pain as my own.
Of course, perfect love doesn’t exist.
There is no such thing as love unconditional.
There are rules, loyalties, lines you,
under no circumstance, cross.

Stalking, or is it searching,
since Tramp shared a plate of
spaghetti in an alley with Lady.
I learned from the best.
Watched how it was done.
So few can emulate
Bud & Jean.
Sixty years from Greek pins
linked with a gossamer chain
‘til death they did part.

There were others I circled
all as real to my mind
as they were fabricated.
They were searching for
Bud & Jean.

George & Gracie
Kermit & Piggy
Paul & Joanne
Johnny & June
Han & Leia
Jack & Diane
Tommy & Gina
Wesley & Buttercup
Mr. Darcy & Ms. Bennet

They circled
Bud & Jean
pair by pair
searching for,
if not forever romance,
because really who
could put up with that,
stalking forever together like
a tattooed bicep or a ring
grown over with flesh.
These pairs survive.

Not all, however idealized, do endure.

I Love Lucy, but
Desi was kind of an ass.

Pair by pair
they crumbled
and fell.
Fiction or real.
It was all the same.
All the same to me.
Photos in an album,
the same as pictures
on a magazine cover,
the same as images
projected on some screen
large or small.
All the same to me.

Luke & Laura
Frisco & Felicia
Charles & Diana
Emilio & Demi
Kiefer & Julia
Emilio & Paula
Jason & Julia
Lyle & Julia
Ben & Julia

Even Paul & Jamie
couldn’t keep their shit together.
Let’s not even go into
Hank & Helen.

Dammit people!
Scribes of the universe take note!
Hark back,
back to when it was right,
back to when it was
secure however uneasy.
Not meant to be.
Fought to be.
If you can’t love now,
right now,
lie until you can again.
Because you will again.
Love again.

I mean Harry & Sally,
they made it right?
Don’t tell me.
I probably don’t want to know.

My love
couldn’t follow
the model of
Bud & Jean.

I tried.
Or maybe I didn’t.
I thought I did.
He had other ideas.

Now I’m left with
second-hand love.
Bud & Jean
are gone.

Searching, circling, stalking,
down for the count.
There can be no expectation
for the days gone by to further shadow
events of now.

Fiction or real.
It is all the same.
All the same to me.