I sat at her table drinking a cheap glass of wine,
The sweet hum of laughter and old times in the air.
I said, he wrote the most beautiful thing,
Women on both sides of me transfixed by poetry, declarations of love, the promise of commitment
He said, I want to marry you, there is no game, let’s have children.
I watched the long lost sensation of being desired well up in their eyes.
And it was all for me, alas a man who sees clearly.
My best friend’s mother tempered, girl you’re not going to save him in the eleventh hour.
I swallowed that pit,
From which a sapling of love grew and twisted through my esophagus,
Peaked out of my throat,
Tickled my tongue and bloomed
Bore fruit for three years.
1,095 nights I feel asleep knowing that I deserved this,
1,095 morning of waking up, reaching, just out of grasp.
The eleventh hour comes with a cold bed and a mounting pile of medical bills,
We were in the car,
I recounted the inexplicable interactions of the past two days,
But he didn’t even want to have sex with me.
All of these months,
So much tension,
He called it getting to know you,
Not jumping in,
Being a gentleman.
My eyes shellacked rose, maybe this is just different?
Like a good different? Maybe? Please?
The red haired M.D. from the back seat reported a cold hard
Best case scenario someone lives for five years after starting dialysis.
Wow, what a fucking buzz kill.
But we were there to celebrate,
And I love a good party.
I rallied. Plastered smiles over my crumbling infrastructure.
This reality was best left on the back burner,
Simmering on low for as long as it lasts,
Turn the fire down, pray that the gas doesn’t go out.
This woman- this woman, she has great friends,
Friends that withstood the fire, simmer and boil,
Steadfast, a hand placed at the bottom of my spine,
Keep me upright,
Hold me together.
I called my soul’s fraternal twin,
A customary, Hi how are you, to be polite and then straight into,
There are no wrong decisions.
You can’t make a wrong choice. What makes sense today may not make sense tomorrow.
She clutters my inbox on every front,
Filled with musings, tangible love, firm advise and big questions.
The woman is a push when I’ve slowed down,
A corset of words lacing me together when my insides have fallen to the floor.
And one day it all clicked.
“In closing can we both- men and women- stop acting like the bare minimum,
being alive, not being fugly and not being abusive equates a good man.”
The next day, I sat in a restaurant, lap full of babies,
Over a bowl of soup a waitress named Jessica or Jenny maybe,
She said, I have two boys 3 and 6 and a boyfriend who’s basically a child.
I’m leaving here to go to my third job, thanks I’ll take your check.
And I just couldn’t fucking do it anymore.
I said, I see you hustling.
I said, I see you.
And I saw me.
The eleventh hour is a cold bed,
A well placed testimony of your strength,
A timely Instagram caption,
A woman refilling my breadbasket that I’ll probably never see again.
The eleventh hour is an internal hell,
Guilt and self-worth in the balance.
And I’m not going to save him,
I’m going to save me.