Poem – A Familiar Weakness

A familiar weakness creeps into my bones registering at the door of my heart as an unwelcome guest, a former tenant who used to reside.
I sigh.
There she is again.
It’s been so long but my insides haven’t forgotten the touch of a thousand butterflies awakened by her eyes.
I try not to look too deep into them because I know for sure I will fall. He is standing right there after all and I know that this cliff is his diving place now.
But it used to be mine.
I used to climb up there at any given moment and surrender to gravity’s embrace that would fling me carelessly through the air and eventually into her arms.
How could I feel safe in arms that aren’t stronger than mine?
With a strength so invisible and yet so loud with the simple sound of breathing in and breathing out, whether to sing or to shout.
It must be the weight of that strength now that now shakes the ground beneath me. No wait. It’s just my knees again. Their morse code is trying to signal my brain to send help so that I can talk and that they can walk. But I’ve never been good at walking. At least not in the presence of a princess. I always feel less, always feel under-dressed, knowing that I’m going to the fail the test. Just like all the rest.
I might’ve guessed she’d be here but that didn’t prepare me.
Oh no! This monologue has been going on for at least 30seconds and I haven’t said anything yet! But what do I say? Do I bumble through a generic catch up? Do I make a joke to her boyfriend? Do I give him a hug? A high-five? A fist bump? A slap in the face? A punch in the gut? Hmm. None of these seem like good ideas and he seems like a nice enough guy.
Maybe smalltalk is the best way to go but it’s tough to think of trivia when I’m trying to hold back the river.
The butterflies have begun a battle over the dam in my heart because some want to escape with secrets that once found their home in her listening ears and catapulted Fear’s fortress with truth and grace. Others want to flee to the nearest open conversation and find shelter there and wait for this whole thing to blow over before the cover is blown and everyone sees that I’m not the well-adjusted guy who’s moved on, healed and whole. Not at all. I’m the wounded one going septic wondering how to know if it’s too late to reattach a limb I once went out on then walked out on.
Seeing them look at each other has this sweet and sour feel to it, mixed with a bitter jealousy and peppered with pain. It’s great to see that look again but to see it hit another man right in the eyes and elevate him to the top of that cliff…
It’s sour.
It’s sorry.
I’m sorry.
But it doesn’t matter any more.
Does it?
The game is over. Right?
Because I’ve got two alternate timelines in my head. In the first one, we’re still together. In fact, we got married. We stood in front of our friends and families under that domed ceiling she dreamed of and said yes to each other for all of our tomorrows. In the second one, we’re apart but still in love, literally writing silent love letters with our lips, read only by our hearts that hope to be united once again.
But I live in this timeline, where I walk alone with a disconnected telephone in one hand and the scissors in the other. I lift it up from time to time to tell it how I feel and I hear that depressive dial tone daring me. But even if I did…It’s done. And what’s done is done and cannot be undone. Right? He would probably answer anyway and tell me not call again.
I miss my friend. I miss my love. Not the love that she gave me but the love she made me capable of. Her love was like protein. It could dissolve my reservations, I mean those acids could repair any tear from the strain or pain of love and make it stronger every time. This woman of wonder always kept her love on and stayed ready to fight like an amazon against what was wrong. She made me so strong.
But that was a long time ago.
Now a familiar weakness creeps into my bones.
The shivers shake off all my bravado and leave me naked and vulnerable before the eyes of one who has seen me at my worst and drawn me to my best
But now has moved on.
I should too.


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