To J, the lovesick

you who brought her to the doctor
and signed for her packages
so that her parents wouldn’t berate her
for expensive spending habits

once told me, she asked if you were in love with her

and you said no
but from then on,
it was push and pull

an isolation from other friends

this twenty-something
she had seen the color of your heart
found the pen to scribble over it
like a child vandalizing her belongings

and still you persisted
even as you told me
where we would eat
what we would watch
what we would do

until one day I said no
and you fell silent

love or friendship
we are human beings
and not things to be used or tossed
or pulverized to fill
the gaps of other people’s wounds



I, who have known you,
now only meet a stranger
who pulls layers over the child
trying her feet in shoes overlarge.

A bitter essence has been mixed in,
stirred and absorbed into her flesh.

Her eyes and touch hold
a sliver of ice, a dagger
poorly concealed — for me.


“Are we still on tonight?”
Is really a way of wishing
the other party would say no
so you won’t have to break

But it hurts deeper when you let
the other party dangle until
the last moment
and cut them off

Know they’ll never extend
another invitation to someone
who can’t speak the truth
and wastes the time and emotion
of a person who let you in