I made the mistake of getting in touch with him
twenty years after – invited him to stay.
He was almost alcoholic, had lost his front teeth,
told endless anecdotes and, worst of all,
was allergic to my dog. You’d think that’d be
a cure or antidote to all those years of unrequited love
spent yearning and longing, that I could forget
that time — was I seventeen? — when he asked me
to go with him to the States, could forget that moment
years later when, at long long last he proposed,
could forget that because I was young and fearful
and he was wild, arty and penniless, I kept saying no.
Less easy to forget how, ever since, I’ve wondered…
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