"i love you"

In my dream this morning
your face flashed -
an open book.

You looked into my eyes
and said
"I love you"
like you used to
when you meant it...

before your face became a wall.

In that brief moment
before I awoke
I believed again;
and hope, long since extinguished,
phoenixed unbidden
from the ashes of all those times
you said, "I love you"
but didn't mean it,
and all those times
you merely faced me

in silence,

turned away.


  1. These flashes are the really difficult moments.

    The bitter memories hurt like hell, but they have an anchoring weight, a finality. They say, "Yes, it HAD to happen this way. I had to leave. We had no choice." But an old picture in my wallet, a sudden scent, a half-awake dream...these crash through my certainty, my carefully laid foundation of reason and send me nearly back to the beginning. The obsessive questions start again, my endless internal conversation, my arguments and whirling self-doubt.

    Yesterday it was a yellowed bit of essay paper. A blue ink apology for an offense given and forgiven years ago. I lept to catch that breath of kindness and caught a whirlwind. "If only...Could we...What if...I should have..." In my impulsive grab, I was six years old again, the relentless lightning bug chaser. A moment of sparkling wonder, and then...just tears as my clumsy hand crushed the tiny star to broken wings and dying light.

    Yesterday I forgot that joy requires an open hand. That keeping is impossible. Today I remembered. As I tossed the note recycle bin I was able to quietly say, "Thank you. You were good to me then. And I was good to you. Thank you."


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