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Done Quickly

I remember you
as we wove through that crowd,
looking to all the world
like the couple we weren’t. I wouldn’t
let you buy me a soda,
or hold the door,
or kiss me goodnight.

It bothered you
that I could smile
without provocation –
and that I smiled for myself,
not solely for your benefit.

We were friends –
that was the line
drawn in the sand, edged
with mines, laden with grenades
and scorpions. I knew
how to get across without cutting myself,
but you could not discern
what was deadly
and what was dirt. It was alright by me.

The truth (if you want it)
is that I thought less of you
when you talked about disliking
women who liked to streak their hair
odd colors – like fire engine red
or lilac or blue. I shook my head
as we pretended to be interested
in the vendors. I told you
about dying my hair lavender.

It did not amuse you. I found I didn’t care.

I saw you once, again,
after that. We took in a Scottish play,
and during the intermission,
you made fun of the ring I was wearing,
since it was on my ring finger (the only one it fit),
asking did you marry yourself?
I think I said nothing. I was quieter then.
It made me like you much less.

Slowly, we stopped speaking.
I think I forgot to return your phone calls.
Or you stopped calling.
Maybe it was both. The result
is the same: we fell
out of touch as easily as people
fall in love. It would never be us –
I knew that then, the moment
your eyes narrowed in judgment,
the moment I realized
you couldn’t make me laugh,
the moment I saw your ego
instead of your smile –
we ended,
we let go,
we said goodbye
to the couple we never were.

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Categories: Poetry
  1. October 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

    “the moment I saw your ego
    instead of your smile –”

    I like that line. A few words with an essay of meaning. 🙂

    • October 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

      Thank you, Colin! I’m glad that you enjoyed those lines. 🙂

  2. October 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I love the idea of smiling for ourselves instead of someone else. It really made me think about how often I smile just to give someone the impression that I’m happy or friendly or flirtatious, etc.

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

      *grin* Thank you, Andrea! I’m really glad that you liked this. 🙂

  3. October 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    You have such a beautiful way of capturing the moment! Awesome!!

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:09 am

      *big smile* Thank you so much, Ana. That really means a lot to me. I’m glad that you enjoyed this. 🙂

  4. Josh A. Kruschke
    October 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Sigh…..

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