After

You approached me after my set
in the way I knew you would.
Head down, quiet.
Timid.

You complimented my writing.
Described the ways you
liked my first piece,
the one with the numbers.
I wrote it knowing you would.

I wanted to know what it felt like
to sit and watch me
as I stood in the light
reading words meant
for your ears alone.

You didn't offer me
feelings and
you didn't describe
what it was like
hearing poetry
clearly written
for you.

I looked to you
as I
read my last piece
to observe your reaction.

You looked sad
and serious
and you were leaning
into
each word I spoke.

You got the message.
And pulled away,
as I thought you would.

I still hoped.
I hoped you would feel
inspired
to wrap me in your
arms
to make peace
with the feelings between us.

I hoped
you’d say something to
challenge my perspective
on what happened
and did not happen
between us.

I offered the chance,
multiple opportunities.
I hung around until you left.
I made myself available
as I did from the moment
I introduced myself to you.

“Your writing is beautiful,”

you said.

I know. I know it is.
My mind is, too.

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