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Relief

In college, I asked you out

when I was drunk, the spirits

combining with my feeble spirit

and engendering a lewd boldness,

I never wanted you, but I wanted

to possess you. You said yes, but

we closed that chapter the next day,

never spoke of it again,

years later, distressed by prescription

but desperate for togetherness,

I asked you out again in a café,

I don’t know if it were love or

a simulacrum of it, emotion

crisscrossing my heart, placing

an X that didn’t go

away for years, after you

said, “You were never on my list,”

with a sardonic, lopsided grin,

I then hated you and

fuelled by that venom, I began to

hate myself, I wanted to be more

athletic to show you what you missed

out on, but the cigarettes and the

the copious amounts of caffeine

ingested, destroyed my body, I then

imagined you gloating, chock-full of

vicious glee because I failed at everything

I tried, becoming a bloated corpse

with purple lips and an addled mind

that couldn’t distinguish between

sarcasm and honesty, some tendril

of scepticism from an abomination

of negativity, gripped me and sucked

the golden glow of awe out of me,

I then thought I’d write and succeed,

but dreams of writing long, metaphorical

sentences like Updike or getting into

the minds of characters like Franzen

became words on a blog, read and

appreciated by a few, not many like a

deranged Calvinist’s Hadephobia that

makes William Cowper’s fears look

like little rabbits hopping on a lawn,

ultimately consumed by ennui and a

dark despair that prevented me from

shifting on the bed because its

paroxysms were so intense, I drank,

hoping for false bliss, a created

euphoria that communes with forgiveness

and beauty, albeit for a few hours,

but I found nothing, but today, as I smoked

on the balcony, thinking of why God

predestines us to hell, divides families

and creates realities that are a far cry

from the best of all possible worlds,

I realised that you were absent,

no longer settling in some shadowy part

of my consciousness, laughing at

my pain, or telling the world that I’m

crazy, no longer looking at me with

eyes like daggers, and though I feel

little these days and catharsis and epiphany

are for more impressionable minds,

I looked on, weary-eyed, and I guess

I was relieved that I no longer love or

hate you, or desire you

or care, or even worry

about you, you came for a season,

and you left without reason,

and I doubt there’s any reason to

anything, just the sound

of construction work from the

office nearby, and the few stars

that look upon us without delight.

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