web reform

The Gambles You Lose

“Why aren’t you married yet?”

A friend of the family wants to know
unable to disguise curiosity as concern.

I make ample an excuse
giving wide berth to the shore of truth
anchored somewhere in the long moonless night

Nodding, unconvinced, hardly content
with a well-crafted buffet of lies,
she moves away to the island in the kitchen
leaving me to the piercing gaze of my father

Who says: “she’s never coming back, son”

So frank, so matter-of-fact
Such a shattering truth;
I want to gather all the shards
of my impossible fantasy,
a glass bubble of hope
lying forlorn in pieces at my feet;
I want to cup every biting shun
sharp as the reality he makes me see;
I want to shove these down his throat
to shred this offensive truth he utters
so frank, so matter-of-fact.

“She’s never coming back,”

he emphasizes, as if I haven’t heard
him the first time; as if he knows
I willfully struggle to shut the doors
against his gale of a proclamation;
as if he should repeat his words
to drill through the impenetrable safe
in my heart, where I keep an altar
of her memories, and of her.

He puts his hand on my shoulder,
his finger pads applying pressure,
his mouth set in grim determination
to break my one last defence:

“She’s never coming back”

he drops his timbre
a felled tree on my house of dreams
its roof caving in on my pride
crushing my construct of acceptance;
he cheats me out of my bargain
with the universe:
in exchange of her return,
my future happiness – all of it.
But:

“She is not coming back.”

He wraps his arms around me,
a polymer net around a lost whale,
unstruggling in its defeat against
a tangled web of promised reform.
And I’m transformed back into the child
lost in a crowd of people lost themselves.