I’d like to remember you
as you were
that moment when
I lost myself in your kisses
and saw my future in your soulful eyes
before the heaviness of the present
unmasked its leery face
before the pain that
you have to carry alone
caught up on us
and invalidated
what few snatches of beauty
we created
before your unspeakable fears
commenced to undermine
all our chances for happiness

Before the clock
ticks its last tock
and time files our story
as over and done with
a faded scrap of history
let me preserve the best version of you
in my mind:
the man that you were
when you first met me
the man who said yes
when I asked
if he’d take a risk with me
the man who acted as if
love was always worth it

Let me immortalize with a poem
that tortured soul
who momentarily forgot himself
long enough to take the time
to scoop me in his arms
and wrap me in them
so gingerly
before I even understood
what the names
tattooed on them
the pure, warm force
who had been so close to me
every phone call was a touch,
every email was a caress
every night of love
was a miracle

that is,
before you qualified
what a miracle is supposed to be
and left me out
of the definition

I cry for you tonight
but this is
an imperative pain
as I sear the details
of our short-lived past
onto my soul
with the only kind of ink
I have access to
and know how to use
and render it with permanence

and hopefully move on
if that isn’t too big
a contradiction