My Stab at a Love Poem

In the beginning I played for you

Lady Day in my white dress, a droplet

of a woman enchanted with herself,

spells spells

will you follow my dear boy?

What were we then but lonely.

No, I pushed back, as I opened my dress

No, I’m too much for you

I’m too much for anyone

only I confused (stupid girl) it with not

being enough.  You knew then, didn’t you?

Too nice to say so, to shy to look me

in the eye but around you I was learning

gravity.  The bills were paid.  The house was bought.

Our girl was born.  A diamond made me cry.

We settled in too heavy.

I wasn’t doing so well, you know,

even then.  How was I this woman,

this lover, this mother when I

never had a sole reflection in that mirror

above the bed, and the one in the armoir,

and in the hall, all these expectancies.  You,

so static, emphasized my chaos

I once used as love.  Or believed was.

When we fall apart,

when we crack from what isn’t,

we are left bewildered–that that one person

we tried to deceive

offers shelter shelter

and could paint your face.

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