The Man I (Desperately Wanted To) Love

I loved him in lilac,
with his curls, once gold, now silver,
soft against his furrowed brow,
a boyish smile, never betrayed by the treasure map all across his weathered face,
and my lipstick leaving a trail along each line.

I really tried,
with my sweet, almost sapphic sweetheart,
but he was never enough,
never the right side of my binary boundary,
that once seemed so arbitrary,
but was in fact quite necessary,
and my God, did I try to let things lie,
to let him lay on top of me and just be happy for a minute,
happy about the holidays,
joyous about the jewellery he would buy me on his wife’s birthday,
ecstatic about the incriminating emails and how mysterious they made me feel,

he wasn’t enough for me,
because I was helpless to my endless need for secrets.
The ones we kept from those around us,
the one I always kept from him,
the ones I swore we’d take to our graves,
before I decided that I would never die.

Torn to pieces by my taste being so far removed from him,
I’d hold his hand as the sun faded into the sea,
praying that the promise of our love would come true, and I could break through my sickness to just… be happy,
but the secret sat atop my shoulders,
poking me in the back of the neck,
dripping all across my skin like poison,
tarnishing my pretty jewels and my pretty ideas about who I could be,
if I just let myself.

Nobody decides who they really are,
do they?
Not really.
It’s just a thing that is thrust upon you,
pouncing on you,
like he used to do, the second I walked into the suite in my cheap dresses and expensive perfume.

He told me once, that I was a once in a lifetime type of girl, and I’d give my life to feel the magic that he felt, when he melted into my embrace.

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