Maybe you’ve always wanted me, yeah, and you’ve always liked having me around. Maybe you’ve always been there, but the truth is I’ve only ever been your second and never your first. I’ve only ever lived in the background of your life.
Your friends, restaurants, and streets never saw us holding hands. Our story was written on rumpled sheets and on couch cushions, behind pulled curtains and closed blinds. We wrote away, with smoke in our lungs, liquored lips, and Cabernet coated tongues.
Perfect alchemy, a fire in our blood, skin made for skin; the flames to dear to me, but for you never enough. I was your favorite kind of fun because I was always fearless and willing, because I liked my hair wound around your hand, and your fingers around my neck; because we went everywhere, yet never went anywhere.
We were always such good friends, and so much more than that, and still so much less. I just can’t understand how something without a label, how a thing that was never a thing, could seep into my veins; how it could make me feel so much, yet never good enough.
I knew it from the first time you laid hands on me, that you wouldn’t be good for me. I clung to you like a vice, like a sick need I couldn’t rid myself of. Each time I knew I shouldn’t have put myself back between your fingers, under your fingers, I always knew how it would end; with me missing you until the next time, with me burning away in the flames, turning to ashes in the silence. I couldn’t tell you just how I felt, but you knew, you’ve always known.
I was always in wonder of you, got too close, yet, couldn’t get close enough. I always wanted to believe that the curved glow of your smile, and that look in your eyes when you’d look at me was real. That the things you said to me were real, that in you there was the same kind of feeling that there had always been in me.
But again, and again, I was never your first, you never made me more than we were. You were everything I always wanted, and I was everything you could have had and never chose to grab.
These are the kinds of poetic things that stay with us; the questions, the ache, the flames, and the tragedies. I wrote away without you; I may have never been as good as your firsts, I may have always only been as good as second can be; but I grew as a writer, better than I had always been – good enough to write poetry about things like this.
I’m sorry, I know you’ll think of me, wish I was more than you allowed me to be. It doesn’t get much better than being loved by someone in love with paper and ink, you’ll remember me, wish we’d written more of our story with open windows and walking through streets.