If Only

Moulin Rouge movie poster, 2001

Moulin Rouge poster art (2001) | Photo: author

If Only

She’s the sweetest thing

Granting me a costly smile

That forebears forgiveness.

She raises her glass with

Both hands like a child

For the thousandth time

I wish, like a child wishes to be

Grown up, or a boy a girl.

.

Did I choose this heartbreak?

I swear it has chosen me

Raised me with strong hands

Like a promise

To a different light

She: “This should have worked,

If only…”

I: “It would have, if only…”

.

If only, then, my mind refused

Debts I hadn’t the will to bear

Instead of foolishly counting

On buried treasure.

I make a promise

To four clasped hands:

No more ‘if onlies,’ no

Calculated heartbreaks.

.

I’ve lost all collateral

There’s no translation, no language

Until all liens are removed.

She smiles sadly, strong

She’s the sweetest thing

But the things I love are bitter.

.

My heart ducks between

Shadows as I pay her

My last kiss in this currency

And feel the promise of

Unransomed breath

On her lips, bittersweet.

.

By Jason Anderson

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2 thoughts on “If Only

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