For G.

I would have liked a chance to decide if I loved you outside of an emergency,
But everything got pushed forward,
The calendar came for us, bearing its claws,
With sudden weddings and far more sudden funerals.
With visa expiration dates and,

I knew when I met you that your father was dying,
But we were both under the impression he had a little more time-
That we had a little more time.
I had hoped, time enough,
To figure it out.

I knew from the beginning I could be yours.
I just needed a minute to figure it out.
I stopped wearing my watch when you left,
I couldn’t take the notifications about my heart.

I would have liked to evaluate the quality of this whole thing
Outside of the fact that you know what I look like in a gown,
That I know what you look like in a black suit,
Or that I know your taste in engagement rings.

I would like to have, for once,
Loved a bit slower,
Been a bit lazy about it,
Seen you once or twice a week,
Kept you on the back burner deep into summer.

I would like to have kept more secrets, to have spent evenings
With men, ignoring them
In favor of thinking about you,
And have told you nothing of it.

I would like to have spent these
Unexpectedly warm May evenings with you,
Overdressed and sweating into the sheets,
Complaining about the heat.

I’d have liked you to have seen me
In such exaggerated misery,
Begging for an air conditioner,
Being an absolute nightmare.

I always liked how you said you woke up hot,
Thinking about me.

I’d have liked to have let your affection for me cool slowly,
Grow a moss of resentment,
For you to have learned firsthand
All the things about me
Worth hating.

But I gave you the best of me,
And you said you loved me,
Or, specifically, you said,
“I have something I want to say to you, but I am worried it will scare you away”
Then you said,
“But it starts with ‘I’ and ends with ‘you'”

And I said,
“I know what you’re saying, just don’t say it yet, but I can see it too, I can see the horizon from here. I am falling for you.”

So, you said
And you left anyway.

I would have liked to have ended things better,
Perhaps with our clothes on,
Perhaps before sex.

I am glad you fucked up so royally in the end,
After treating me like a princess.
It makes it a bit easier.

I would have liked this to be easy.
Liking you was simple.
Resenting you is tricky.

I wish I could hate you, that I could scowl at you and say,
I have something to say to you
It starts with “I” and ends with “you”

I wish I could wish you anything but well.