You look at me like I am that alternate love you had for a bit. I see an alternate life we almost had. Do we call it rue or regret both meaning the same, the first a poetic me, the second a gritty you? Neither. We both do nothing because both is a together thing.
As you watch me look up over a John Green novel and my solitary coffee, you look away from your wife, still plump with post pregnancy fat. We look at each other’s lives with just enough wistfulness for the other to feel lucky. And we turn away before the other can see us thank life for what it had dealt us instead. You, a comfortable marriage. Me, a good book & a chance to be solitary.
I savour my aloneness, tasting the hunger of missing another lover. The quest for magic & fantasy is one I stayed true to. Flight, freedom, choice are my friends. Loneliness feels like the sting of alcohol, now blurred to just a tang.
Your truth is age. A world where experience makes one worse, not better. Where carrying more is safety. Where slowing down is an act of resignation, not choice. I know this because it doesn’t sit lightly on you. Nothing does. I even see the word ‘secondhand’ form in your mind when you look at me.
It angers me, glowing embers of a long dead fire from when your opinion mattered. How can you not see that even as I change every second, I never stop being defined by a single letter? I. I stayed true to it. To us. To our words. I’m the one who stayed put in the world we said we’d make. Why did the word ‘used’ cross your mind, when I know every touch is a new one, as long as it’s kind?
But these are things my world has learnt. And you now call a different place of the mind, home. Our languages have no currency. You wouldn’t understand the things I value and I guess, I wouldn’t, you.
I look away, out of windows we both see. A world has grown between us, so vast, we see it from opposite ends now. You heave up, just a little slower in your gait, carrying forgotten desires & the extra weight of denial. I don’t carry those
anymore because I chose flight and those who do, travel light.