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by Richard Vince

After ten years, I cannot remember
Her name; how unlike me. Perhaps
That shows that I could never
Really have been what she needed.

Back then, I could say the words
Just as easily as I did years later,
But I know now that I could
Not mean them: present merely
In body and not spirit.

It could have been dangerous; I see
That now. Or is that the self doubt
Talking; the crippling lack of trust
In myself that I had just acquired?

So many crazy things I said that were
Never tested along with the ones that
I failed. My punishment is my
Preoccupation with false possibilities
That makes me sound like a stuck record,
The same few words coming from
My pen again and again and again.

Somehow, happiness in the present is
Not good enough, or even worth
Seeking. The past is all that matters,
With all of its possible futures and
The phantom happiness they may have
Brought to other versions of me.

I wish I could cease all of my follies,
But I fear that they are now
The essence of me. In trying to avoid
Being what they said I was, I have
Become the last thing I ever
Wanted to be.

07/30/2014

Posted on 09/03/2014
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

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