• Old Love

    Old love.
    Like a bench
    warmed by the sun,
    softly dappled with shadow
    and memory;
    an almost distinct outline.

    It is not something to sink into,
    this bench of hard wooden slats
    and chipped paint,
    this old love.
    No:
    It is something to perch upon
    gently—
    delicately—
    fleetingly—
    before moving along.

    It is not a comfortable perch,
    not this bench,
    this old love.
    It is a vantage point,
    a resting spot,
    worn smooth from use,
    though splinters lie in wait
    ready to pierce the armor you donned so carefully–
    (and wear so uncomfortably)
    (and hold so invisibly)
    donned only this morning
    before leaving.

    But you sit.
    pause for a moment
    in the sun and warmth of
    this old love,
    perched and dappled and indistinct,
    focused on some inward image of long ago—
    or far away—
    or never was but should have been.

    This old love,
    this paint-chipped bench
    where you sit
    and shift,
    to find that spot of comfort and ease,
    the one that used to be—
    or almost was—
    a question on your lips:
    (in your hips and knees and neck)
    Here?
    No
    This?
    No
    Perhaps?
    No,

    No, and no again.
    There is no groove,
    no flow
    nor easy rhythm
    of unthinking nonchalance—
    even if there ever was,
    or if there never was—
    and so you stretch
    and breathe in all the glory of
    dappled memory and
    armored comfort,
    rise with indistinct reluctance,
    moving softly to find the next bench along the way.



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