You should know that every thing you gave:
a note, a card, a book a film, a jar of honey, a card
with the slant of your pen and which bears my name
I have never discarded one. Each is bound, a photo
tucked now between the worn pages of Tennyson,
save for the honey-jar, now empty, I filled it with green-marbles.
No, you never said any of it ever had meaning.
It was all me: full of faith – your believer.
Me, misguided, I showed you a shy self
trusting what you said – this the ontological leap.
I jumped – un petit-saut. But a great leap.
All you see is Jezebel and threat. Funny that.
When all I wanted was this…
We already had our secrets.
Unspoken, never told. I believed. You believed.
I had faith in you, and thought you in me…
What a gas…
So this explains my token gifts, you should know:
The small bound book, the hand-wrought char,
wrapped and hand-tied in my hair-ribbon, a small piece of me –
I offered myself up and you took it.
And after, after, a day perhaps later,
you told me this meant nothing when just a few months prior
we had agreed, you had said, Yes, we were more
that just ‘ordinary friends.’ And god, such relief this.
Now, you have taken away the sweetness.
You occupy the Now – I don’t know how.
For all I thought I knew, I find myself speechless.
For 8 words defined, for letters read & saved.
You wrote “I thought I knew…
did I understand about the ….
I thought I did… but then I…. did i?”
I say the same to you now.
You see what you want: a red-lipped Jezebel.
I am no longer your shy, gamine girl
Just a frightened, backward lover
who still will coyly yield to your submission.