and release – a poem

and release – a poem

she said i had missed her love language completely
as the pasta and apricot tenderloin grew cold
eye to eye and yet seeing only old ghosts
i was surprised
saddened in a second
then curious
is this a mid-eastern thing
or introverts in love 101
did i miss it
or look for clues in my own love of touch
not asking
to go beyond the joy i was feeling
in finding a match
so well-met, well-timed, well…
and that was it
she asked if we should return the keys
call a spade a spade
get concrete
about exactly what was going on here
and my words failed
my confidence eroded by contradictions
unhappiness unresolved

she is still inside of me
her fire roasted deep parts of my soul
and tickled places before unexplored
smiles unfathomed
and joy joy joy

and something else beneath
creeping into a serene afternoon by the pool
as loneliness and disconnection
that baffled and confused me
what is the miss
when i’m here
beside you
reading, writing, kissing, swimming
what is the miss

she let me know
risky parts of herself
asked for my compliance and support
as i sought the heart
of the matter
and failed
to reach any conclusions
just an open
a pause and hold
but the holding didn’t resolve
the fear, the fight
that was not between us
the kisses did not wash away
snakes and ladders
snares and triggers
of times past and broken
and haunting

i open again to her
but the change has occurred
i am a support team member
rather than a lover
i am a concerned friend
who loves from a measured distance
i cannot retrace the summer
i won’t apologize for this sea change
only to take blame for things beyond my depth

i set her afloat
heaping praise, encouragements, and loving kindness
may you be safe
may you be happy
may you find a love that finds you back
in all your beauty
and all your mystery
and all of your parts
now lost to me


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