CAN’T

Re: Tribute. A story, a poem, a poetic story? When past meets present.

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When they were younger,
he wrote to her, saying;
“Sorry I couldn’t love you
the way you wanted.”
She had no reply, so kept silent
and filed the message away.

Now they were older;
posturing on her couch, as they
reminisced over glasses of wine,
when he leaned over, brushing 
a lock of hair away
from her eyes.

When they were younger,
he told her he didn’t much
like bangs; so she grew them 
out and once,years after him, 
in a fit of boredom chopped 
her long locks off.

Now, she sat, with a bob
that made her look older, with
carefully tinged blonde highlights and
dark red lips which she licked
deliberately,
nervously.

His eyes dropped down,
traced the curve of her cheeks,
followed the tip of her tongue
and the white of her teeth
as she smiled;
a rush of breath.

His “Can we try again?” lingered
in the narrow space
between them, growing narrower
as lips touched. Longing, so sweet
it made her chest ache.
She pulled away, breathless.

I can’t,’ her eyes intoned,
as silence thrummed
through their veins, rushing.
“I…” she started.

I got over you
a long time ago. But I’ll
never forget how worthless
you made me feel, or how casually
you threw away what we could’ve been.

I got over you
a long time ago and I’ll
be able to get over you, once more
when you decide that I am
no longer worth the fight, the way you
made me believe, so callously,
when we were younger.

I’ll get over you again, 
if I have to, but why, why
should I have to try
when you didn’t, before
when all I wanted
was a chance?

But the words wouldn’t form,
couldn’t come out and she
took a sip of wine, casually
unglued her tongue and said,
“I’m sorry, I can’t love you
the way you want.”

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