Kellam Ayres

You must make this mistake once—
pour boiling liquid into a blender, then pulse it.
Watch the steam blow the lid straight off.
When you see your burned hands, you’ll scream.
Other mistakes you repeat, finding yourself
in a familiar place, but worn out, like pigeons
circling a roof, the flock growing bigger,
then smaller. It will be this way with love.
Your neighbor plays something on the accordion,
starting and stopping before seeing it through,
but it’s not what you expected. It’s not even
about getting it right. You think it’s about
protecting yourself, and eventually you will—
not by learning how to love, but how to do so less often.