Alas

They went back to their favorite place
Because of her appeals,
She dressed up in his favorite dress,
And wore his favorite heels

There’s moon and magic in the air
That soon the truth reveals:
Alas, she cannot make him feel
What he no longer
Feels

Someone Wrong at Exactly the Right Time

She was a track star, a straight “A” student, and she did everything right. So right, in fact, that she yearned to do wrong; to be wild, to let go, to grow up.

I, apparently, was someone wrong at exactly the right time. Suspended from school for fighting and cutting classes, talking back to the teachers, saying whatever I thought or felt. I had started a process of giving up on what I had believed in, a process which was to last more than a decade; but I was seventeen, and I didn’t care.

So, we ended up together: for almost a year and half, even into college. She held onto me for that while as a way of showing she wasn’t just going to read off of the family script anymore. And I wore her like a prize: look, you all said I was nobody, but she’s with me.

We poured almost every drop of nascent passion we had into each other. I say ‘almost’ because, it turns out, we each had someone on the side. She had a boy from another school she saw at track meets. I had a girl who took piano from my old teacher. And so it went, until she ended it because she’d met someone else.

That was more than thirty-five years ago, and she’s still with that same “someone else”. I bounced around from girl to girl, then woman to woman, trying to find someone else who fit my maladapted behavior. Still, for years, I thought about her. It wasn’t that she was the most passionate love I’d ever had, although she was more-or-less the first. It was that she made feel like a better person, while she felt like a worse one — which was what she was after, at the time. Her fundamental decency, however, she could never really overcome with me, nor did I want her to.

But even though I was only a step for her on the road to who she wanted to be, she saw something in me; and even after a breakup, and all the heartache that entailed, she left me with a gift: the realization that I could, after all, be with somebody, and both of us enjoy it. We were not meant to spend our lives together, but I learned a lot from her and our interaction; eventually, we both realized (although her much sooner) that running from who we were was never going to change who we were.

So I have my memories of her; I see her, thoughtful, sitting down by the water’s edge, dreaming of something, something she had yet to find, but that she did find. And I also realize, that I loved her, not just for what she did for me, but because I took delight in her, and wanted her to be happy even after we split.

For love is like any other type of activity, we only get better at it by doing it.

It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

It doesn’t matter anymore,
The “she” that once was everything;
It doesn’t matter anymore:
It’s time for what the new days bring.

It doesn’t matter anymore:
The plans, the dreams, the arguments;
It doesn’t matter anymore:
For she is gone, to all intents.

It doesn’t matter anymore,
The words that don’t add up to jack;
It doesn’t matter anymore:
There is no point in looking back —

It doesn’t matter anymore,
But I’m still grieving, I confess:
For she does not care anymore,
And I do not care any

Less

By A Summer Lake

By a summer lake, on a haunted day,
They watched their love just drift away;

Neath a cloudy sky, with a bursting heart,
The whole doomed thing just fell apart

In a sheltered cove,
In a better time,
They’d known the taste
Of love and wine

In a miracle
Of community,
That melted with
Impunity

By a summer lake, on a lonely day,
The war was lost with one last fray —

And though love be free, neath the cloudy skies,
The learned it always, always claims
A price

Smothered Fire

When love becomes a smothered fire,
The heat and smoke are trapped inside;
As here, contained within ourselves,
Desire and poison, both, go unremarked upon

The dance we dance is formal now:
You know your steps and I know mine.
We each perform our silent parts,
But how we leave the floor with grace, I couldn’t say

The music we once heard is gone,
There’s no one else left on the floor;
Just you, and I, these dishes, and
A series of banal cliches we share, politely

The dance that is a dinnertime;
Our words, wet blankets on the fire
Of what was once spontaneous, and new —

The ritual of rinsing off the plates that we just used,
The empty glasses stored away to clean another day,
Our food, detritus scraped into a bag –

As after every dance, there’s someone
Has to turn the lights off

Who just might catch
The last slight glow
Of smothered fire

i only once

i only once
beside you once
inside you once
then grieved you once

and in a thrice
the tears of twice,
in days of ice
believed you once

for every once
i should have once
but lost you once
for i'm
a dunce

© Andriy Bezuglov | Dreamstime.com – Girl in red hood