backburner (would’ve, could’ve, should’ve)

starry tulip
3 min readMay 20, 2023


picture by taylor swift

In my head, I’ve told you everything I’ve ever wanted to say a million times. I’ve loved you. I should’ve hated you. I should’ve never picked up the calls. I should’ve never made peace with the wreckage before holding on the uncertainty that breaks within. And for once, I don’t care about what you want. But I do about what I hope we could be.

Becoming is just the most foreign flavor and my tongue has tasted anything but nothing is as poisonous, as nauseating as hopefulness. Being hopeful that — in another recurrence — maybe you’ll try to love me the way spring that lasts, maybe you’ll finally choose me after you’ve had more time. But waiting for the thing I hope for to happen though I know it doesn’t was my breakfast that I would never stomach down my system anymore. The act of existing has never been this violent to force me cease the hollows you created.

I should’ve looked away at the moment when I saw you at the first glance and never thought I could have these things forever. If only I was a fast learner to realize right away that my screams for you weren’t meant to be swallowed, I could’ve ended up not blaming myself for your incapability to contain me. It’s been a while since I recalled how it feels when someone is pulling your own milk teeth.

It’s funny, in a repulsive sort of way, how our story should be rolled with no epilogue to watch. There’s no single scenario to introduce us, anyway. I’m not even the starring role of my own movie or any other characters to keep the sequence going. And I know it’s pathetic to expect yourself to be on the storyline that never even begins. But at least you are, too. Giving us conclusion when the important part hadn’t yet happened.

You pretend not to understand how sad it is that I settle for the backburner and I regret you all the time. I didn’t come to you to be your god: holy, not painful, not dead, not asking the meaning of love that repays. I’m not one and I’m only capable of doing sins: waiting behind the register, letting you ask favors, and questioning what it is that will make me brave enough to turn around.

The devil I danced with whose tasted like a heaven in the blazing daylight imprisoned me with braided-chains for blooming a different affection he would never want to share the same with. And your name, your laugh, your tears are just another misfortunes that should’ve added to the list of things that need repentance.

Now my yesterdays draw tragedies for the us we were, for the us we won’t become. And my tomorrows put my skin on flame, hoping if we can find our edges by daybreak.

I know in a week or so, to love and never be repaid is a different kind of death. The younger me should’ve learned the lesson that there wouldn’t be enough life for her to mourn the love that won’t take shape; the love that won’t return.

songs and lyrics:

  • Taylor Swift - Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
  • Niki - Backburner