There was a girl I once knew.
We used to hide under blankets and call them giant samosas.
We sat under the stars in Darjeeling.
She would finish my rice when I couldn’t.
She even called me her Sparrow.
I suppose we all get a little lazy about love.
We stay in when we used to go out.
You don’t make out as much.
The excitement of seeing each other dulls a bit.
(Though it was always so nice to see you walk through those doors.)
For a bit, I knew you liked it being your home. (and me, being your home.)
You grew a little chubby (which I loved). Happy, it seemed. At least to me.
I know being ‘happy’ is an odd and conflicting thing to you.
There is a picture of me and you on your sister’s front porch.
I am quite chubby myself, and I am holding gently to your right hand with my left.
You are wearing such a pretty flower dress.
This is how I’d like to remember you. Us.
When you loved me fiercely enough to say, “I will never leave you.”
And one day, you did.
As did your friends. Who I’m sure sympathize with me and are sorry and hurt.
But they choose you.
I understand that.
As will your family.
And I will sit and mourn.
They will not know my pain, regardless of how often they say sorry.
Because they know I will leave them, soon.
And they will still support you. Still call you “favorite” and “love” and “honey”
and I will sit and try not to cause more harm to myself than I have already done
because I know, I will never have their love in that way again.
You see, my days are filled with light and dark.
I will joke and laugh.
But in the dark recesses of a lonely night, while I imagine you with him, and your family and friends supporting you out of love,
I will sit
I will mourn.
I will still want my place by your side.
I will know it is not my place to be had, anymore.
My visits will not fill the same hole as they did before,
because my home is moving.
Out of your heart, out of theirs, a bit too.
I guess that’s how humans work.
They recognize strength and power. (Regardless of who’s side it’s on.)
When you lose a person, you gain their ghosts.
No more haunting than if I saw them in the dark;
Reminding me of how it used to feel, when we were all warm,
talking about the babies in them bellies,
imagining what you would have looked like,
so precious, I always thought.
Then things hardened. Face. Defense. Movement.
Sleeping over at his house while I wept in my brown chair, alone.
Saying, “I spend time with them because they know how I feel!”
Me, in response,
“Yeah, but they don’t know me! And they never will.”
So take heart,
I am a resilient southern man.
Hell, my momma, she’s the steeliest of them Magnolias.
I come from good stock.
Good enough to make a soup.
And these words, make me feel strong.
maybe because I feel them strong, here!
and here, too!
I will mourn you, my friend.
And I will come back some day, and remember your goodness. and grace.