I think it's significant that I have never written a poem about you. You never know when it's the last night you are going to spend with someone. Once, I thought I knew, and we spent the whole night crying together and holding each other. That last line was not about you.
I think if we knew it had been the last night, I would have cherished it more. Instead I was thinking about how we had to get up early to take you to the airport. At the terminal, you didn't kiss me goodbye Even after I asked.
Maybe that should have been my first clue that we were getting to the ending part. Instead I assumed it was because I was healing from a cold sore you didn't want to catch.
I think about how unromantic cold sores are. How pedestrian. How you told me to stop eating nuts.
Maybe the whole relationship we had felt like healing from a sore.
That is not true, probably. You said "I won't be made into the bad guy here."
I said < "I don't want to play the victim." > I thanked you for being brave enough to end it, said I thought I might have been the one to do it if you hadn't. You said, "Bullshit."
I think about how in four months you never slept at my place. I think about your black boxer briefs that I watched you pull up under your jeans, the morning you were getting ready to go to the airport, and I think about how it looked like you were putting on a uniform, A dress-code for a different city,
And I think about how each geographical location has its own unspoken dress-code, mostly due to the weather, and I think about how the heavy layers of San Francisco fit you better than the unhindered tank tops, shorts and sandals of the desert.
And I think about how you're only here for your grandma. And how this is just a stopping-point for you, and how I was a mile-post.
And how you tried to get me to see that from our third date, But how much I wanted to make you my home.
After the first time we fucked I wrote a poem about you titled The Man who Would not Love Me. I wanted to remind myself that I knew you were going to break my heart And that I had entered into this agreement willingly.
The time we stopped fucking for a month my grieving heart splintered into tiny shards of glass And I wanted to use one of them to cut it out of my body so I would not have to feel anymore what it felt like to love you.
But instead I searched for the poem to remind myself, (willingly) and it-- like my dignity-- had disappeared.
The third time I asked you if we could start fucking again, You asked me what was going to be different. "I've put you into a different box. It'll be different." I said. "Trust me." You didn't--
But then: "You're a grownup, so I'm only asking you this once: Are You Sure?" What I didn't say:
I knew that you weren't going to love me back how I wanted to be loved. And I wanted to love you anyway.
II The time I broke my leg You brought me books and movies and laughter "HEY NOW, none of this moping-" You said. You gave me encouragement and guidance. You said you would have been at the hospital holding my hand through the pain if you could (I didn't believe you, but it was nice of you to say.)
But you would not do the one thing I wanted most: lay down in my bed and hold me.
When you went home I cried and then had a crazy-freak-out Percocet drug trip where you appeared to me as an apparition. You said, as directly as you'd ever been to me in real time, "I'm not going to be that guy for you."
III The first time I really accepted you for who you are, I was able to love you for who you were able to be with me Instead of who I wanted you to be.