To My Almost Girlfriend:

Poet Among Other Things / Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

I still love you.
It’s been years, but I do.
It’s very different from what we shared.

I remember that day when we first met.
We were introduced and the connection was instant.
Your eyes sparkled.
You made me feel warm;
Warm like a field of wildflowers in late summer.

It happened slowly, or it felt like it,
And I’m not even sure how long it lasted.

You took me on my first date
And you didn’t know it.
Anyone else in the restaurant knew.
We got looks.
“I think people think we’re on a date.”
You laughed.
We were good christian girls.

Dancing with you first clued me in.
Holding you in my arms,
Leading you through the steps,
Looking into your laughing eyes.
In that moment, it felt like absolute right.

You said for the next dance you would do my makeup.
We didn’t go to another dance.
You still haven’t done my makeup.

Remember the day it turned cold and windy?
I gave you my scarf and we held each other as we walked to my car.
you got cold so easily.

The day you had a seizure was most important.
I knew you were ok,
But I was so scared.
As I held you after it passed I put a name to the feeling.
We had said it more times than I can count.
“I love you.”
But this felt different.
You were vulnerable and let me care for you.
Then as you recovered, I found I didn’t want to stop holding you.
Waking up your stiff limbs,
Stroking your hair for comfort,
That’s when I thought, “Oh, no. I am gay and I’m in love.”

I still remember the last day I saw you.
You never knew that would be the real goodbye.
I couldn’t keep pretending that we weren’t in love.
I cried the whole drive home.

You seem happy now.
Your child is beautiful.

I do still love you.
Nothing like I used to,
But it’s still love.
I love you for what you gave me.
You showed me what it felt like to love a girl.

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