Poem: To the ones that got away


Gratitude to Gyroscope for publishing this one (2017).


To the ones that got away

It wasn’t me, it was you. Accept this affirmation
as the tardy alibi of an apostate, finally at peace.
Time plus attrition will not always yield insight,
but in unison they make a more effective emissary
than friends, family or the cleverest classified ad.

So: thank you each for convincing me nothing
would make me happier, that—for us—absence
made my heart grow fonder. Kudos for confirming
our cute little quirks would inexorably consume us
in acid, our hopeless hearts corroding like clockwork.

Condolences to the perfectly irreconcilable couples
I’ve studied like sacred texts, discreetly searching
for secret codes, or oblique clues to conundrums
best left unsolved, like forgotten bones buried
by unbridled, but otherwise preoccupied puppies.

Special praise for all those fierce and impenetrable
partnerships, husbands and wives proving fealty is real,
love alive in labor that merges affection and constancy.
It’s easy to misconstrue how difficult it is: an alliance
affirmed by entreaty, serving something that exceeds self.

Lastly, I suppose I should concede my own culpability,
having exhausted uncountable options, yet able to conclude
our first soul mates must be ourselves. A shared contentment
obliges us to seek other snowflakes, earthbound but aware:
becoming stuck together as you fall might bestow salvation.