Silence (Maria the first)

1 November 2018

Standing on the platform
at Central Station
nervous fidgeting
eyes darting

seeking your face out
amongst moving masses
there you are
rushing towards me

anxious smile I hug you tight
with a mouthful of hello
knowing the awkwardness of
three years of relative silence

would settle upon us quickly
it did
so I hug you again
willing myself to be present

Instead
I’m back in the car with you
three years ago
when silence stretched between forced

syllables
I was an arsehole
who took away your agency
made a liar out of me

broke your heart
I remember the way your voice splintered
how you reached out
I pulled back

turned inward
so deep
I couldn’t see it
etched in us

Back on the platform
pulling away from our strange embrace
mouth full of everything unsaid
I see what you’ve managed to erase

what’s been carved into me
I am aware of everything
too suddenly
willing myself to be present

Instead
I am somewhere in an alternative universe
where I could have been happy with you
could have loved you

for a really long time
if I hadn’t been such a coward
my mouth is not full of anything now
it’s dry as you ask about my flight

my thirty hours traveling
we find safety in the banal
I fill the air with similar noise
I can’t look at you

all I want to do is look at you
actually all I want to do is kiss you
Three years of silence
all I want to do is kiss you

We are sitting in an empty library
books propped open
in a language I can’t fathom
like our new language

so hard to navigate
I tell you I really like your partner
it’s a lie I fucking hate them
they love you

like I was never able to
They remind me of me in many ways
I dislike my reflection in them
you tell me you’ve never felt more loved

in all your life
I want to apologise
take your hands
tell you I was so afraid back then

all the time
then press your lips against mine
beg you to forgive
everything I put you through

believe me to be a better being now
I don’t
I just listen smile
will myself to be present

Instead
I’m back where you and I stood in a turret
atop a castle
in another country

I was inside you
your breath on my ear
as you told me
you could never ever refuse me

Here in the library
I am overcome by the need
to test whether
you can refuse me now

I tighten my fists into balls
push my nails into my palms
and let “I’m happy for you, really I am”
tumble out my mouth over and over again

Later I tell you about how sick I’ve been
embarrassed tears run
I wipe them away hurriedly
telling you I never cry

both know that’s a lie
you tell me to take my own medicine
be vulnerable for once
I talk of being a burden

you call me your friend
– never a burden
“friend”
who knew that word could cut so deep

three years of silence
you have moved me into friend
hearing your voice utter that
fills me with regrets which can not

tumble out of my mouth
You’re happy
I’m happy for you
really I am it’s just

I should have loved you
better back then

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