Appetizer

"Can we table this conversation?"

He asks.

Two glasses of red wine
rest between us.
He plays with the stem
with his stable hand.

I do not respond.

I know he cannot
answer what
I want answered.

I look at him,
overcome with
a sorrow
that the blue of his eyes
does not calm.

"This is the first serious
relationship
I've experienced."

He continues,

"I do not want
my life to feel
settled yet."

As I watch his
lips move
I hear
a different narrative
an unsaid message.

He takes a bite
of the appetizer
in front of us.

It's come before
we've ordered
the main course.

I watch as he
enjoys its taste.
He takes another bite.

"What should we order next?"

He asks, excitedly.

Next?

I want to ask.

Isn't this enough?

In joy

What 
is joy
compared to
a lasting
ache

In joy
I lack the
preoccupation
the restless attachment
the wondering if
my feelings are matched
or returned at all

In joy
all I have
is the way
you leaned in to kiss me

The memory of standing
in the stairwell
you held my gaze
you held me
to share you’re not
seeing anyone else

All I have
are the hands
that didn’t let go of mine
from that first kiss
in the middle of your kitchen

I’m not sure how to write
in joy

But I can try.

Burn

There is pain
at the center of my chest
it reaches for cold,
anything to soothe the fire
you had no intention of lighting.

Tell me,
what is the antidote
to loneliness?
To rejection?

You do not reach out.
It hurts more than if
you’d simply write
to tell me
I am not the one for you.

I am burning, burning,
don’t you see?

Moments and meaning and time
swirling around,
wasted.

Wasted on
thinking of a love
that never began
or lasted
long enough
for it to burn.