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played hopscotch
with me again
when she walked into the diner
while I was two mouthfuls away
from asking for the bill
I recognized her from her pictures
having singled her out
as my number one rival
for your affection
her queenly demeanor making me
feel more insignificant than usual

I weakly reasoned
that though I might not be
one of nature’s better designs
I still have my eloquence
but she shot that down too
when she sat down
with her back to me
picked up her phone
and called you
and started talking

and I heard—
I didn’t mean to eavesdrop,
but I heard
her telling you
everything I couldn’t tell you
all the pains I couldn’t name
she gave them names
and I realized
that all the emptiness and hurt
you’re unknowingly making me feel
she was feeling them too
and all the love I wanted to give
she was also offering to you

What am I then,
this life-clumsy, plain-clothed morena
strapped into aesthetic mediocrity
with tarnished buckles
compared to that
divine mestiza
with a grace akin to emeralds
and authentic Prada
to even think that
after you’ve closed your heart
to her
I might stand
a ghost of a chance?

For your sake
I hope she stays
I hope she waits
in love
until you come around

as for me,
I’m walking away
and neither she
nor you
even knew I was there.