10 Poems on Almost Love

don’t tell him

1:
I, um, don’t love him.
I mean, I do, in a wish him well, want the best for him,
Would switch places if he was hurt kind of way,
But not in an in love sort of way.
I kept hoping it would just sort of show up.

2:
He’s moving in next week,
Do I just keep going on as usual?
He’s a good person,
Probably good for me as well, and all that.
But I feel like I’m at the wrong end of a Bonnie Raitt song,
Will he ask at some point?
What will I say?

3:
I’m not wrong to want safe,
I checked with my friends,
You Settled.
That’s that.
No shame in it,
Choosing safety and protection
Over a chance at something more.
I would never get that something more anyway.

4:
I think I’ve told him,
So I think he knows,
That I don’t always,
Have the feelings at the front,
The, I think you’re wonderful,
And aren’t you just the best thing on two legs,
I think he’s okay with it,
For now at least.
What if he’s like me and sitting on the hope that the feelings will magically appear later on down the line?

5:
Maybe I’m too un-hopeful,
And I’ll find these feelings that people talk about,
But I doubt it,
I look at my mom
And then I look at my grandma,
My other grandma,
And my sister.
And I think,
Eh.
I’m not sure the women in my family have it in them,
To fall for people,
Who can’t support us or give us what we want.
Well, we won’t act on it anyway.

6:
I’m so sorry,
I should have suns and moons in my eyes,
You did it all right, correctly, proper, in order, and perfectly.
It’s the me who’s broken.
You put all the right dollars in the machine,
But it turns out I only accept euros.
I just forgot to put my sign up.

7:
What would I tell our kids?
Can I say to them, well, I chose the money?
Or I went with the one that wouldn’t hurt me?
The one that would listen to me?
The one I talked myself into?
The one who’s just as smart as me?
Who’ll let me be a housewife if it all falls apart?
You should do that too?
Do I tell them I’ve never been in love?
But maybe you should hold out for what is a 50/50 shot at happiness to begin with?

8:
If the odds are, it’s going to hell anyway, why not,
You know,
Not spend too much energy thinking about it,
And just go for it.
This one seems nice,
I’ll stick with this one.
Is it bad I didn’t spend more time picking him out than I did a new brand of peanut butter?
But, hey, no problems, so no need to replace him with another jar of Skippy.

9:
My favorite photo of him was from when he was in the hospital,
All connected to heart wires,
Still with his six-pack,
In only low-slung sweatpants,
With the band double-rolled,
And a ball-cap on,
Standing up to put his shirt on,
Looking somehow angelic and triangular,
Beautiful and sick all in one.

10:
He learned to cry for me,
Surely, someone tell my heart that that counts.
He read my memes, and learned about how hard life is on women,
He stopped loving his favorite movies, because I pointed out the sexism and now he notices too,
Like c’mon,
He’s got enough tallies in his column,
Work dammit. Fall in love.

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