Perhaps one love is like another when it ends—
only the one who wanted it to last
understands the enormity of what’s been lost.
At least once you must have lived in that lovesick daze
and glanced up to see someone who looked
almost exactly like the lover who scorned you,
and didn’t you jump up from your table just to make sure,
and run full-tilt wherever that person took you,
driven by adrenaline, driven by hope?
And when, panting, you overtook this stranger,
what did you do then? Were you apologetic,
did you say, “Sorry, I mistook you…”
or did you find the righteous power of the jilted lover
and set things straight right then and there,
describing the monstrous treatment you’d received,
you, who could have made it all work! Tdid you seize the moment
and tell the tale in that fervent, yet out-of-control,
desperate way that we only get to peform a few times
in real life, standing squarely at center stage for once,
stating, of all the people on this planet,
you are one of the handful driven by love?
From Do Not Think Badly of Me (Manzanita Writers Press, 2022).
Used here with permission.