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the love we never had, we never should have made / (three words)

by Devon E Mattys

There are three words
that should be said
before names are gasped and swears are sworn,
hot against another's skin,
before one purrs into another's ear...

But those three words were never true, and they were never said.

My mother worries about me--
sees the frown lines forming,
says I'm developing my father's "thinker's brow."
But she doesn't know
about you and me,
writhing in twisted sheets,
sweating against the bedspread,
clutching each other's bare skin
in the evenings after work before I went home for dinner,
or in the early morning hours after I'd snuck out of the house,
or how those memories haunt me...

because the love we never had, we never should have made.

I've forgotten most of what I knew about you.
I don't remember your lips or your eyes--
if they were ever on me--
only your hands, which I know were there, all over,
and your sweat
and your skin, tasting of salty sand and metal,
and your breath on my neck under covers that got too hot
far too quickly.
And I remember desperate fumbling in the backseat of a Pinto,
which is where it all began,
but I don't know your mother's name.
And I've forgotten how I met you.

Because whatever we were, was never meant to last.

In the car, it was only fucking
and we both agreed on that.
But later on, when we were indoors and prone,
and my sole wasn't braced against a window
and your shoulders weren't colliding with an armrest
and no one's skin was stuck to vinyl,
somehow stretching our limbs and taking our time
gave it a legitimacy it never should have had,
that thing,
that thing that wasn't love
and only mimicked love-making.

As if we knew what we were doing, or whom, and as if we cared.

And now there are three words
that should be said,
now that I no longer gasp your name
or frantically swear, hot against your skin.
Now that the fucking is done,
as is our make-believe love-making.
Three words you should know
and carry with you
as I carry the scars of them with me:

I regret you.


Posted on 01/04/2009
Copyright © 2021 Devon E Mattys

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ava Blu on 01/04/09 at 08:35 PM

i adore this.

Posted by Nanette Bellman on 01/04/09 at 11:27 PM

oh my gosh. this left me speechless, in a good way. i can relate to this so much and deeply wish i couldnt and the 3 words, i never seen those last 3 coming. i'm adding this to my favorites, its amazing. good job.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 04/20/09 at 03:24 PM

man, have i been there. in some ways i think everyone needs to experience this range of feeling for someone. it sort of acts as a barometer for how things should and shouldn't be. this piece is intense and captures that lusty behavior of trying to make something out of nothing. in my opinion, it's not regrettable; it's a learning experience.

Posted by Mo Couts on 06/15/11 at 08:06 PM

My, my, my. Been there, felt this, just never been able to write it as beautifully as you have.

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