She

A poem.

She is home again.

She wakes me in the morning.

She keeps me up at night.

She is by my side.

Always on my mind,

Always in my heart,

She takes my breath away.

In the Church unattended

And the God unworshipped

She watches over me.

With the friends who’ve become strangers,

With the family I can’t relate to,

She does not miss me.

Next to me at the Barstool,

Burning in The Cauldron,

She does not hear me.

In sentences misspoke

And deeds misdone

She cackles at me.

With the one that got away,

With the one who hasn’t yet,

She haunts me.

In dreams left undreamed,

In dreams unfulfilled,

She is there.

In calls left undialed,

In smiles left unsmiled

She greets you before I do.

In notes unplayed,

In songs unsung,

She listens.

In words unwritten,

in words unspoken,

She is on the receiving end.

In the crackle and fuzz

On the Netflix and chill

She is the white noise in the darkness.

As the days grow colder,

And the sunsets linger,

She is the gathering storm.

When I think of the bronze-tint fascist

And the red-state antipathy,

She is the blue.

With every breath,

And every day closer to death,

She is the air that leaves me.

She is the uncertain future,

She is the un-proud parent,

She is the child I’ve yet to have.

She is the growing up I’ve yet to do.

She is the masterpiece I’ve never built.

She is the better life. The Insta-envy.

She is the unfollow. She is the unfriend.

She is the shit I’ve yet to get together,

And the success I’ve passed over.

She is the unreachable potential,

She is still in love with my ex.

She is commitment left un-kept.

She is with me,

And with the me I pretend to be.

And with the me I’m scared to be.

In the pretentiousness of this poem,

And in the precociousness of my ignorance,

And in my complicit role

In contributing

To the ills that plague our world.

In the things I think that people think

About who I am when I am with her.

She is my guardian “angel.”

She is my lady luck.

She is my happy accident.

She is my greatest mistake.

She is the known unknown

And the unknown unknown.

In every regret I’ve regretted

And all that remains,

She is what remains.

She doesn’t matter,

But I matter less.

She packs every pound I’ve packed on,

She is the shells-and-cheese-and-champagne,

And the vegetables I forget to eat.

She is the help that has not helped,

The help I’ve yet to seek,

The medication left untaken,

She gives the advice not taken,

Travels the road not taken,

Damns the risk not taken,

She is my company.

In the space. In the silence.

She is stuck with me.

I am stuck.

I am lonely with her.

She doesn’t really exist.

Yet she is the realest person I know.

She is there.

She is always there.

She is always fucking by my side.

And although I’ve said goodbye

So, so, so many times

I cannot say goodbye

And I cannot kill her

Without a piece of me dying, too.

And so she stays.

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