This poem is a veiled love letter.
Another shot at resisting the drifting away.
A refusal to accept the quickness of your brushing off my account of our could-have-beens.
I pretend that while you are still not mine, you are asleep, and so I let you.
You may awake too late or just in time.
I may find or look for distractions, or I may yield to impatience, which is the more probable.
But between here and then are going to be strings of tender words
To remind you,
at perhaps not evenly spaced intervals,
“that we’ll always have each other. When everything else is gone” (Incubus).
In a certain lifetime, we didn’t get to meet.
We lived separate but nevertheless great lives.
But there was always a longing for something we just couldn’t pinpoint,
like when you’re listening to your favorite artist singing your favorite song,
and you look to your side, expecting someone to be there,
also entranced by the music,
but all you see is either an empty space or a stranger bobbing her head,
who, although as understanding, just isn’t going to look at you
in that way you want to be seen.
We are extremely lucky that in this particular space-time combo,
we somehow got to learn of each other.
There are many failures I’ve eventually become grateful for because otherwise we would not have ended up in each other’s stories.
And I’m very, very glad for the risks I took that somehow led to my roads crisscrossing with yours.
In another lifetime my heart is full and unbroken,
but unused and safe until time caught up with it.
Now here we are close enough that I can easily hand it to you.
I don’t care if you keep it or destroy it, but goddamn take it and do something with it
because it’s yours either way.
On a day in our other life, we are screaming plenty,
maybe at each other, maybe only in our heads,
but even inside those angers, there is still a certain kind of comfort,
that we are entitled to madness for what the other has done to us,
that our rages are justified because no one else should be able to stir us so anyway.
But in another life, I am not reciting lines.
A house woman waiting to go back to writing.
Bound by the rules of contentment.
Every visit of melancholy met by guilt.
I wouldn’t have cats because I’m not good with routines,
so maybe I will find contentment in books,
while imagining the worlds I am reading,
also always dreaming of my own—
how in another life I am your favorite troubadour,
singing, “J’adore, monsieur, mon cher.”
How the lilting verses of all others are also heard by you indeed,
but not in the same way you listen to mine.
Because you know that my poems are also yours.
But in all of the possible lives we have, we know how there is vanity in our kind of affection.
You, for instance, are fascinated with the thought of how these lines would not have been if I were thinking of another.
They say whom we love affects who we become.
Have you liked what I have become?
I know I cannot ask the same of you.
A lot of people have changed you.
There is barely anything left of you from years ago,
when you were somehow fleetingly mine.
But there is.
And that’s how I still recognize you.