I Still

I still call you. Some think so I can still hold power over you. I don’t think so. I still love you, is all. But this love is different now. I must love you with no pretense of acting on it or the consequences of not. You are an idea I love. You are this story. I text you, “Will you marry her?” And you’re answer is always, “No.” But whenever I call, you’re mashing her potatoes and cooking her steak. I picture you standing in your beige kitchen with the bottle of Jack by the sink and the fan on while you smoke. I see her tiny leopard print sandals with the fake diamonds on the straps, so tiny, on the sad beige carpet. I remember folding her PINK sweatpants while I did your laundry in your apartment the day after I came to have lunch with you and stayed the whole week while she was in rehab. You cried when I left. You begged me to stay. I wanted to, to stay with you in that ugly beige apartment, locked away from everything that could make anything harder.

“If I moved there would you be with me?” “Only one way to find out.” When my own love saw that, he said he thought his head was going to explode. All I could say was I’m sorry because I didn’t want to hurt him. But I couldn’t say I was sorry I had said the words at all. I couldn’t pretend that they were never there. It used to work.

I love you. I still love you. Why doesn’t that mean anything anymore? Why doesn’t that bring me to my feet, to your door, to you, why doesn’t that bring you to me? Why does it just live there? Existing on its own, like a piece of bridge floating in the water. Utterly useless. It could go on forever. We could go on forever. Maybe that is why I let myself keep loving you. To preserve us, untouched and perfect in this story. So that when I die I can tell myself I have known perfect love. I am a fucking selfish fool, but you have always known that and loved me still.