Saw a woman fall in the park. Took her a long while to get up again. Where I was sitting a little dog in a vest was doing the rounds, yapping at intruders. When his owner called him back he turned to her, skeptically. “He thinks this is his territory,” she explained. 

You said you thought we didn’t work. But first you made such a big deal out of it being something you thought I could work out. Said you were hopeful for the change, wondered what things might be like—even for us, a year from the end. “You’ll move on quickly,” you said. “For me, it will be a while.” 

The walls that you put up—telling me that I had to accept that I hadn’t been hurt in the way that I had been hurt. Months of knowing you were dating someone else. All the little ways you mingled us together, the things you told me that I wish I could forget, even when you knew I was working for you and no one else. 

Maybe you knew you were coming back—that there was something lacking in him, at least then.

But I wasn’t where you were.

Anger grew over me, like briars over fallen trees. And we couldn’t cut it away.

I know you were angry, too. That’s why you thought my bringing it up, in any way, was an attack on you. But it was something that had happened to me, that you wanted to pretend hadn’t happened.

I sometimes wonder how much of that resistance was your guilt speaking back.

We will never know.

Now you’d rather hold me like a sweet dream that turned bad. A distant one.

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