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apparently we rely a bit too much on our chinese takeout

by Lauren Singer

you know i saved those fortune cookie prophecies for a reason.
it started with yours, tail between your legs
too proud to say it out loud sort of guilty.
handing me one of those two-inch slices of paper,
crumbs clinging to the ink like little hands:
"speak not of wasted affections--affections are never wasted."

somehow that little note said more to me
than any of our fights, our hesitant scowls
and our interrupted sighs.
cold fisted exaggerations into the mourning of our sorry selves.
God i loved you so much, i wanted to tell it to you all the time.

when we were watching cartoons in the lounge,
we would fight each other for the remote
until you were straddling my thighs and holding me down.
when i made you cookies the night i walked in on you having sex
because i was so terribly numb and hollow that it was all i could think to do.
oh, how i cringed that thought away so many times.
every time i was slightly drunk i'd fall into you,
your cool hands against my forehead, sturdy.
and when you slept in my bed, your arms around me and
your head against my chest.
we didn't look at each other then. didn't say anything
not reacting to what we changed that night.

i know you're not naive.
i know you know exactly what it is you do to me,
why i can't spend a full day without thinking of you at least a dozen times,
why your clothes are sporadically strewn across my bedroom
just so i might happen upon you.
it's how i know you need me.
how in spite of yourself you just can't help it.
how it riddles you with guilt the way you find yourself desirous.
the way you'll look at me, stroking my face with your eyes.
we are both aware of the tense blade that slices through the forbidden.
its cut is deep and apparent.

so when you handed me that fortune,
as innocent and childish as it was,
i somehow knew that it was the most honest thing you'd ever expressed to me
without having to do it out loud.
i'll always wanna hear you say it,
but i know you too well.
so just in case, and because i already know...

i love you too.

04/17/2008

Posted on 04/17/2008
Copyright © 2020 Lauren Singer

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Maria Kintner on 04/17/08 at 07:56 AM

Well-said.

Posted by Nikki Rice on 04/17/08 at 04:19 PM

Reading this put a knot in my stomach. Nice piece of work.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 04/17/08 at 07:46 PM

love it. oh god do i love this. sometimes it means so much more when *they* find their own way of saying things without actually saying things. damn, this is good.

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