Scratched a few lines of this down weeks ago in a notebook when a romance was coming undone. Came across it today and decided to flesh it out a bit.
you’ll never know how many times
I read the note that stopped us short;
the clanging bridge, the severed rind,
a knot unwinding, round my heart
you’ll never know how long I scanned
the words to find an underscore,
a message faint, a warming chord
to stay the trembling of my hand.
no one watching could have known
you turned right from it, measured, brisk
discounted what mistakes had grown
from this brief and regretful risk
I move ahead, but yet you’ll find
the letter still where I can reach.
words now familiar in my mind;
how many times I read them each.
you’ll never know, thank heaven high
we’ll probably never discuss
I wish you’d said the word “goodbye”;
implied is too ambiguous.
I keep your missive close to me
so days don’t wind me too far out
from us, the nexus part, the ‘we’
I can not bear to think about.
you’ll never know how many times…
but here’s the bite, and here’s the truth:
you cannot see how much you meant,
but every single day I do.