March 17th – Just after Midnight When the Date Shifts to a New Number

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Also, “Depression Series: 0”

March 17th – Just after Midnight When the Date Shifts to a New Number

He told me he loves me.
I had been waiting that I might say the same
Without forcing him to return the words to me—
I know the anxiety such words have wrought.
Despite—to spite—the worries history built
He said it, “I love you,”
And, smiling, I told him I love him, too.
I am not an optimist.
I have seen many a love turn
To something bitter and nameless
Something with claws and sharp teeth.
I do not know how long this will last
And thinking about it too much—
I grow sad.
But I hope.
He fills me with hope.
He asked to hold my hand and holding it tight
He told me loves me
And drinking good beer, writing poems on napkins in a bar
I find myself happy.
Unreasonably, unsettlingly happy
Because this is not how these things go
In my experience.
There is still another shoe somewhere
Dangling from a phone line by its lace
Lace decaying with the days
Waiting to drop.
But for the moment—
For the precious moment—
He loves me.
And I am happy to find that my hands still smell like
His cologne
And cigarettes.

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