I am lovesick.
I am also terrible at keeping secrets.
I want to tell the bus driver
And the bank teller
And the lady with the
Fake eyebrows and matching nails
Who bags my groceries at the store.

The sad thing is,
No one really wants to know.
And so you begin to see my dilemma.

The bus driver doesn’t care
That when I see strawberries I only think of your lips.
The bank teller has no interest in
The shape of your hands as they knead the dough
Or brush my hair out of my face.
The lady at the grocery store might find my condition
Intriguing, heartbreaking even,
When I describe how the emptiness in my bed
Tingles like an amputee
Haunted by a missing right arm.

But her curiosity will fade
When she discovers that,
Unlike the heroines she reads about
In gas station romance novels,
The only thing I really do
For you
Is pine.

I would stop, but I’m so good at it.
The pages and pages of confessions
I haven’t ever told you
Clutter my mind until it’s as full
As my grandmother’s basement.
All this unsaid yearning
Crowding out the
Less important sensations like
Responsibility and hunger.

After a while I make the mistake of watching a movie.
It’s a mistake because the marketing departments of Hollywood
Have become very good at what they do.
Inevitably, I assume the movie is about us,
And that with time,
You and I will also end up
On a homestead, arm in arm,
With a philharmonic orchestra playing fanfares
As the sun sets over the horizon.
I realize I love you
Even though you look like Tom Cruise.

I fritter,
As they used to say,
Countless hours away just imagining
How you will run to me when
We see each other next.
I smile at the sun
Because my mind is making the unhappy assumption
You are also looking at that giant ball of flames,
Thinking of me.
And then I kick myself
Because that is a long time from now
And I’m young
And I’m beautiful.

When the pain gets unbearable
I try to do something productive
And I call my friends to listen to them talk.
I pick out the two cards in the paper shop
Which don’t remind me of you and
I send them
To whomever I can
To prove to myself that I am not
Inappropriately invested.

And then, as usual,
I fantasize about the moment
When it’s finally safe
To share this poem with you
And realize:
You already know my secrets.
I’ve told you a thousand times.
I couldn’t stop if I tried.

I get lost in that forever.


~ by ettaqueen on January 2, 2011.

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