Save the Title Page

You would be the thickest chapter
Cited on the dedication page, too
Featured throughout my table of contents, your name-
the most proverbial word in my glossary
The type of word that rolls and flips easily inside of your mouth
dancing out of your lips like a song.

How do you lament on the death of a friendship?
How do you explain the heartache felt by a recent trend towards unrequited…platonic love?
How do I describe what it’s like to begin to forget that voice with its smidge of harmless sarcasm
that hasn’t changed much in all these years
Only it’s gotten deeper
And a little bit disdainful
And a whole lot more…scarce.

I’m “too emotional” you’ll say, I know
But I say you were always too scared of emotion
You self-medicate yourself numb to the feelings that you are too afraid to face
But on my face, I wear them all
and I think maybe you grew tired of that Negative Nancy, Debbie Downer
who called you one too many times crying and gasping over the phone

You’ve become sick of my
depressing mentality
my social anxiety
my hypochondriac tendencies
my insecurity-fueled jealousy
my emotional instability

But I would gladly look past any one of your faults..

I’m beginning to think nostalgia is a vicious enemy
lingering in the air and blinding my vision like a vengeful fog
with aged memories, and dated feelings, and false hope
that keeps me from seeing things for how they truly are now
leaving me hung up on what they were

Because lately, “best friend” means only seeing you at mutual friend filled occasions
and has come to mean unreturned phone calls and request for any amount of your time
Because lately, you’ve become that dog-earred page
with that single quote that I keep
reading and re-reading
and starred and underlined
like if I repeat it enough times I can convince myself that it’s mine
but you’re not…giving me any type of direct sign
and if you’re so “enlightened”, where are your words?

Mine come in the form of a poem you’ll never hear
because this time, I am aware of my preemptive strikes
and how quickly “talking things out” becomes insulting and defensive bites
like I’m so afraid of rejection that I push before you can
Pain and vulnerability masked with “tough shit” anger and contempt
and I don’t wanna fuck things up anymore than they already are
So I leave the next move up to you
and prepare to move on

But I move on down that street in my car
every other day to my job
on the right I see that house
and I remember how we spent that spring in the attic
The season that you picked me up out of self-deprecating misery
and saved my life.

You were the binding that held me together at the spine
And now, I just wish you would tear me apart..

Call me out for all the things that have already gone through my head:
That you were never satisfied with “friend”
you had just been waiting for every new relationship to end
and got sick of being left perpetually “on-deck”
never even given the chance to strike out

Or maybe, that image of me in your head has been exposed for what it really is
I’m a Dorian Grey and my ugliness inside lives the picture contorted and scarred
Tell me I’m not quite as interesting as I use to be
that we no longer have any commonalities t
and when you go down to the core we
don’t have the same type of energy

Rip out any pages with the mention of your name
Shred, and burn them while I plead for you to at least save the title page for me

451 degrees, the temperature at which our past begins to burn.

Here I go again with my pretense tough disguise
As if I would want that to happen,
as if I could stand it with a shrug,
and a “no harm done”
we’ll burn that bridge down the next day

It’s not the way I would prefer this to end
but I can’t keep
waiting for your words
an epilogue that may never be penned


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