We never thought about
the inevitability of it all.
We didn’t talk about
what would happen
when you left
or when I would.
I didn’t know you would
take my heart with you
when you turned your back
and whispered
early morning goodbyes.
I didn’t realize
it wasn’t fully yours
until your arms
were around me
and I was home again,
in a foreign place
where nothing was familiar
except your smile
anchoring me to the shore.
I didn’t know
you clung to me
because I meant home
and Oregon
and all you had lost by leaving.
I’m the only one
who ever came,
who didn’t forget you
as soon as your taillights faded.
You told me this once
so why didn’t I see
that I have always been
your symbol
of childhood and innocence,
of the love that was pure
because you were alone
and I came?
Is this why the memory
sticks to our fingers
and clogs up our lungs?
Is this why we are frozen
in those two weeks,
in those three days
where we loved
like we would lose
because that’s all we ever did?


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