Those benches look as if they could talk to one another.
Now, granted, they would have to shout
Being separated by such a busy street
But talk, they would
If talk, they could
And oh, the things that they would say
Those fading lights on tepid evenings
That sank us deeper into our cigarettes
And each other
As honesty lifted in the smoke that swirled above our heads
And each passerby pretended not to look
As we made it seem to them as if we actually had something to whisper about
Rather than just something that even we didn't believe ourselves
Even as we said it.
I asked first
On more than one occasion
A role that never should have been my own
But I swallowed
On more than one occasion
And you soothed my troubled thoughts
With a collection of movements between:
Your head on my shoulder
Your hand on my thigh
And your eyes locked, hard, onto mine
Daring me to continue whatever it was that I was saying in the first place
...Whatever was I saying in the first place?
Whatever you wanted me to say.
Because truth be told, I only wanted you to stay.
And ask me to do the same.
You never did
For more than one night at a time
And as we would walk from those benches
Feigning our own surprise
Hands clasped together for some kind of warmth
I would already know what morning was going to bring
What morning was going to be-
An honest walk back to where I belong
But further away from who I am
And who I want to be anymore.
And so, I will let you go
I will get you onto paper and out of my system
Off of my fingertips
So that I can breathe in something else for a change
And occupy my thoughts with higher things
Than what it is that I wonder you to be doing
When you don't ask me to come around.
You will walk away
And I won't stare at your back for any longer than it takes
To realize all that I am gaining in your absence now
All that I am finally able to embrace
All that I am finally ready to become.
And I will make you into nothing more than black and white
Shapes and symbols
Tone and tongue
And I will take back what I tried so hard to give to you
But you were not strong enough to hold
And instead, kept at arm's length
Too afraid of what would happen should you draw it closer to your skin
Let it crawl inside and settle down within.
See, I know that there is beauty in this dark room somewhere
But I can't take the time to search for it anymore
The sun is rising and as always, that's my cue to leave
So hear me out just one more time before I do what we both need:
I have never been any less than all I needed to be
And that is so much more than nights like this will ever let you see.