All the things we thought we said to each other
were caught on a hook inside our minds,
right past the esophagus, north, north,
close to the fear centre in our brain,
where decisions about lifelong partners
are made, or could be made, maybe, possibly.

We were convinced, proud even, of our consistency.
Bad, mediocre, good on the outside, more mediocre
than sliced white bread, packaged by a machine,
wrapped in thin plastic, perfect by look, perfect,
but untouched by human hands and effort
and love. We were untouched, sat on a shelf, wilting,
growing mildew. “Inspired.”

Words that sounds important are not always so.
For example, once we talked of string theory and philosophers,
but we couldn’t get across “I need you” and “help me” and
“stop talking, and listen” and “this isn’t working” until
we’d exhausted every other possible topic. I knew what our children’s names would be. I knew the house we would live in
and the fights we would have about interior decorations
and the food I would cook for you when you were tired.

There came a point when plans overwhelmed the present,
ate it all up and forced the idea that the present didn’t matter
down our throats. We ate it up, sipped wine after to help it go down.
Who needs spontaneity, we’re spontaneous, look, coffee and walks at night and adventures! Oh, adventures. Oh, sweet things, sweet things that know not what they can convince adults of. Though, were we? Aren’t we children still? Do we not weep from frustration
and listen to ourselves more than our others? We do.
We did.

Soon we had to listen to ourselves, sift our thoughts through the sieve of our hearts, and what we were left with in the basket
was incompatibility. Love, sure. But lack.

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