Watch me watch this go up in flames.
You let me throw the whole thing away
or maybe you knew just when to let go.
I kept closing my teeth on each of my problems.
There were stars shining bright in the winter,
light tangled up in the branches. I told you
everything around me was spinning
so you’d try to help hold me together.
I made the whole thing into a poem,
pretended not to notice your sadness.
Then it was summer for almost a decade.
I’ve done brand new things I’m not proud of.
Remember when you asked me to kiss you?
I was so damn pleased with my anger,
these blue blue eyes unblinking.
I never even stopped to inquire.
Yes, I know that you had your reasons.
I know I gave you plenty of reasons.
But then I wrote them all away. So I said:
don’t ask me who she was because it doesn’t matter.
I said I’ll never know what she felt.
Now you’re lodged in my everyday, this same town
that wrecked us. So here’s another poem about you.
This is the last time you’ll have to hear it.
Remember when I said it was autumn? You said
you thought it looked more like the fall. Goddamn,
I wish that you didn’t matter. I was counting down
& waiting for blast off. There were lots of people
lost along the way. I wrote your name
right out of the poem. I’d like to tell you things
will get better. I’d tell you that you matter because
you mattered to me. Maybe I should write you a letter.
I’d type that the seasons are turning into goodbyes
I can live through. I’d say I’m living right now
more than ever, but I’m afraid. You’ve probably
already forgotten. I don’t think anybody is ever forgiven.
Nate Pritts is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sweet Nothing.
He is the founder & principal editor of H_NGM_N, an online journal & small press.
Find him online at www.natepritts.com.