On Leaving

The image of them parting, I see from afar;

The shuffled, awkward embrace that lingers,

over what may have been.

He whispers something she doesn’t quite catch,

‘Did she really hear that correctly?’

She asks him to repeat, heart fluttering,

but his fears overcome him and he repeats something

different, something positively bland,

something nice; nice but meaningless,

a way of sidestepping his feelings.


She goes to leave.

Glancing back tenderly, expectantly… But this is no movie.

He just stands, gormless, smiling a rictus grin;

he knows he should say it, blurt it out…

DO ANYTHING – but he doesn’t.

He just stands, letting that which has been left unsaid for so long,

simmer still.


The air around him hangs still with the crackling potential

of a thunderstorm, today’s rich ozone smell forming

from those three unspoken words: “I love you.”

He will never dispel this feeling, the burden of these words,

words locked behind his doubts, his worries,

his fears of rejection. He will never say what he feels to her,

instead he keeps the sanctity of his love in his silence,

as she walks out of his life.




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