Bittersweet

By Jesi Scott

What I remember most

are his eyes like the Texas skies in winter when the sun shines

after the snow falls and covers the browned leaves,

the grey-green boughs of the evergreen trees.

How those eyes sparkled, lit from within from some hidden sunbeam

he carried in his soul,

and how they smiled at me, and tried to see through

the walls I erected to hide my heart from the world.

What I remember most are his hands,

mine in his, his covering mine,

trying to keep warm against the cold night air,

both his hands pulling me into his arms in the

privacy of that hidden alcove of red metal statuary

in the middle of the evening crowd,

and how those hands

-warm, strong, sure-

could have held my future

if I would have allowed it.

What I remember most

is that first kiss, sweet and soft,

so gentle and tentative, not pushing for more,

but longing-filled, and made all the more bittersweet

by the starlight that graced us and silvered his hair,

the tenderness with which he held me close,

and the brief ache in my heart when it was over and he said goodnight

and drove the long and winding road back to his own door.

More than anything else, I remember

how I let him down and broke my own heart

-no explanations, no reasons, only excuses-

because I was too young, too inexperienced,

too unsure of myself;

because I was too afraid of my feelings where he was concerned,

because he made me feel happy and good and beautiful,

because I knew differently

-I didn’t deserve him-

and so I remember and remember and remember…

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