MIssed Connection

He liked her
And she liked him
But —

She was afraid
Of being used physically
By a man
Who wasn’t really interested in her
Emotionally.
She thought:
That’s just what men do

He was afraid
Of being used emotionally
By a woman
Who wasn’t really interested in him
Physically.
He thought:
That’s just what women do

And they each interpreted the other’s actions
As proving their own theories

Even though they both liked each other
Physically
And
Emotionally

5 Times 4

It ended; she’d met someone else,
And I was not that broken up.
It turns out he was there, out at
Her parents’.

A neighbor, in her old hometown,
Marine now, tall and rangy guy —
And we were friends again,
The way that goes.

I’d see her: music theory class,
Her headphones on, as
Beautiful as ever, but,
I too had felt something lacking, it was weird.

I should have moped, and raged, and stormed;
Instead, I dated someone else,
Who I liked far, far better
Within weeks.

Relationships, like interviews
Turn into something, or they don’t.
This one lasted several months, then
Died its death, and

No one really mourned

5 Times 3

I walked into her parents’ house just
Two days after Christmas;
I’d made the strange four hour drive
To see her in that place —

Her parents were the sweetest, nicest people.
I was her “new boyfriend”
And I met fifty relatives, it felt like;
All these names and faces, it was quite bewildering.

And later, after dinner, we
Sat down beside the Christmas tree;
She told me I looked tired, and
We went up to a room

Where I would soon be sleeping.
We had never slept together;
I know it’s not that cool, but
It’s my truth, and so I tell it here.

Then when we kissed goodnight, I felt
A longing in her, something new;
I didn’t and I couldn’t guess
What she was thinking, but

I soon found out

5 Times 2

Walking by the river, down from campus, near
The aging fishing bridge, we stopped:
We hadn’t really talked yet much, and I
Was asking what her dreams were, and her plans —

She worked in radio, but not yet
How and where she planned on doing;
She was a writer, a speaker, a thinker,
Who wanted, not to conquer the world, but better it.

And as I listened, I could see
The future as she laid it out;
I probed a little: details, things
That, at that age, we talk about

And it was funny: life’s so real.
We’re all the same down underneath
The masks we wear: with hopes and fears
That differ in the details only

Yes, we’d worn masks, and hers was beauty;
Mine was weary misanthrophy
Shown false through the joy I showed
In simply making a new friend

5 Times 1

You tell me. I was nineteen,
And she was more than life itself:
I would have cut my arm off, given
All my limbs to science, just
To be beside her, everyday.

But this was not a forlorn hope:
It was fulfilled, and day on day
It just got better, better, like
A string of cool fall weather,
And it seemed my trenchant heart was set to soar.

But what — what did I know?
I was alternately, a lunatic,
And one supportive, not that bad a guy.
And who — just who was she?
What is this magic blinds us to
Exactly who the people we love are?
I know not, now, or then.

But love’s a good thing, even broken:
Even made of hope and sneakers,
Even as smile in the park
That burned my soul way into dark

True Story

I once loved a woman much smarter than me,
And also a better musician;
She had a quick wit, and a good turn of phrase,
Plus one healthy share of ambition.

I know while she’s richer than Midas these days,
Her talents remain, unabated:
Yet she has a spot in her heart still for me,
That idiot that

She once dated