What I Did Without You

 

it finally became real to me
and i started to believe
that there was no
"us" anymore, there was just
"you" and "her" and "me" and
none of us were ever going to
be friends again.

hard times followed. the death
of the dream of you was almost
worse than the reality of you
which was nothing like the
person you pretended to be. i
grew many new gray hairs and
named a couple of new lines in
my face after you and the feelings
you left behind with me. like right
beside my nose there's "misery" and
across my brow lives "betrayal."

so time passed, as it always does
while your heart is still beating,
though you don't understand how it
can when it's shattered and aching
day and night. time passed and i
found things to do that didn't
include dreaming of you. i grew
out my hair, i covered the gray,
i learned some new songs, wrote
some angry-chick poetry. i moved
to another state, got a couple of
different jobs, met new people who'd
never heard of you, who never heard
me mention your name.

i got my own place, got new furniture,
had a couple of boyfriends, went on
a few dates, made love with strangers
that didn't feel like love, felt like
something i don't have a name for.
someone told me i was wonderful, i just
smiled. someone told me i was beautiful,
i looked in the mirror after they were
gone and couldn't see "beautiful" written
anywhere on my face. someone told me i
sang well and i thanked them politely.
and somewhere in among all those things
i started letting go.

first i forgot the color of your eyes.
then i forgot the shape of your nose.
that frightened me. all i had left of
you was the color of your hair and the
shape of your hands. one day i couldn't
remember the taste of your lips. i remember
i was in wal mart and i stopped right in the
middle of the aisle, people pushing past me
with frustrated or curious looks on their
faces, me staring at nothing trying to
remember.

little by little time ate away at your memory.
each day a tiny bit more of you was missing
until today all i can remember is your name
and the sound of your voice. and i find myself
thinking, "oh, yeah. i loved him, didn't i?"
and i think i'm going to be ok.

denise

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