as if that is how it happens

woman sleeping

as if that is how it happens

Afterwards, you cried.

I didn’t know why.

We had made me a man,

(as if that’s all there is to it,

as if that is how it happens),

but I didn’t understand

how you thought.

I was a boy then.

I am still, in too many ways.

You were girl, a young woman,

and I could not think like you,

could not feel the way you felt,

though I didn’t even try.

I remember the smell of you,

your scent and your body,

your womanhood,

rich and ripe and dizzying;

I remember your shape, curved

and rounded, half undressed;

I remember your face,

that sad smile and the surprise

of those tears.

I remember you leaving, crying,

and coming back for that

forgotten purse,

still crying.

I don’t know why you cried,

even now, after all these years.

I was a boy then.

Perhaps I didn’t say

the right thing,

the words you needed to hear,

so I will say them now.

I did love you then,

I do love you still.

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