I Should’ve Loved You (A Poem)

I should’ve loved you.

You looked at me like I was the moon, full and orange and bright against the inky sky as the stars winked. You’d smile at me as I named the constellations, talking about Neverland and how I wished that there really was a second star to the right that could take me where pirates roamed, mermaids swam, and children flew. Where faith, trust, and pixie dust was all you needed.

I should’ve loved you.

You held me tenderly, as if I was something precious, like the fragile vase that your great-grandmother brought over from Europe. She’d tell you stories about the vase and how it survived the voyage from the Mayflower just so it could set on a small plywood table, gathering dust as the fake tulips wilted. Your grandmother would’ve liked how I listened to tell her stories, writing them into a beat-up composition notebook that one day would turn into a book.

I should’ve loved you.

You touched me like I was a spider’s web, strong and sturdy as it stretched from corner to corner, dew drops sparkling in the sun, until harsh hands tore it down, the spider falling to the ground, and meeting it’s end under a steel-toed boot. You understood why I was guarded and you approached me cautiously, but not fearfully. You never pushed, instead, you waited until I was ready. Never afraid of my cobwebs and the skeletons that hid in my closet.

I should’ve loved you.

But I didn’t love you. I couldn’t love you.

There was no last kiss, there wasn’t even a first. Instead, I dropped your hand after you took it and begged me to stay. I turned and I walked away. My name on your lips. I couldn’t be who you wanted even though all you said you wanted was me.

-K

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