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A Love Song Without Music

Waiting half my life to love you–
Scratch that, reverse it–
So much time, so few people loved...

Walking out of the movie theatre
Seeing the video arcade
I thought about how the games I played
In my youth, are games that you never heard of
Or maybe heard of but not cared about

Then past the art gallery
Seeing mannequin torsos painted green, with spots
Somehow illustrating the confusion I often feel
Waiting for the you that I knew–
The you who will never come
No matter how many lines I write

I could rewrite Shakespeare
Or repaint the Sistine Chapel
And maybe recompose Mozart
But you’d never notice
I’m just a poor artist
Who can’t afford to pay the rent

We could have been heading home together from the mall
Enjoying the rest of the evening together
That treasured, indescribable time of contentment
On the night before the fourth of July

Now all I’m left with is nearly worn out
Thoughts of you
Memories that I just can’t quite put away

You gave me that DVD player
But no DVDs to go with it
Your bronze floor lamp now leans to one side
And the shade fell off
There’s one USA shirt left
That’s holding up well enough to wear
But I don’t think you’d recognized me in it
Not after the image of me that you knew
Was altered by others

I’d give anything to see you at the door
Carrying a bag of groceries
And offering to cook that dish that you liked
The pan of garlic chicken
From the recipe that you got from your mother

Later we could play a word game
Then lie down and cuddle
This time I wish you’d make me get up
To walk you back across the street
Tomorrow’s a holiday
So you could spend the night
That way I won’t have to walk back alone
After escorting you

The tall redwood trees
Outside your old bedroom window
Might still be there in all their glory
But in my imagination now they’re just shadows
That shoot up into the night

Back to the present
Sitting on the second floor of the mall
The children’s train went by
Without any children in it
And that’s OK, I think
But it sure would be nice
If you were here
Because we’d have so much to talk about

I didn’t send this to you, because it’s better
If you see it on your own
But I know you won’t
And that’s not okay
And there’s nothing I can do about it
Though I wish there were

I’ve long used up
Those two last bottles of Bedhead
And that bag of bath soap remnants
Is now nearly empty
But it still seems full
Like loaves and fishes
That are never depleted

Like a love song, waiting for music
To be put to it
I wait the eternal wait
When I know I shouldn’t
But there’s no one else
Knocking on the door
That’s not okay
But I’ve found a way to live with it
Through words–
Empty words of love
That mean so much
(As I walk back across the street without you)