It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated

It’s complicated, you see, 
You and me. 

Not like when we were young,
            When we were both starry eyed—
            Star-crossed, at least,
                        Rounding out the others’ rough edges. 
Not like then,
            When I could overlook your selfishness,
            When you could overlook mine,
                        The way you’d stare at strangers,
                        Not yet adept at the art of diplomacy,
                        Of sparing the feelings of those who
                                    May have looked different,
                                    Talked different, walked different. 
                        The way you bullied without trying,
                                    Lashing out first, self preserved,
                                    Tantrum-ing because it worked. 
Not like then,
            When I could see your idealistic exuberance,
            When yours infected me,
                        We trusted each others’ freedom,
                        We granted the others’ best intentions,
                        We would never go to bed mad,
                                    Each nightfall an end,
                                    Each morning a new beginning,
                        We would heal in our slumbered spoons,
                                    Gift wrapping disappointment in
                                    The ribbons of sweet nostalgia. 

It’s complicated, you hear,                      
You and me. 

Now that we’re older, more mature,
            Lively, glaring pyrotechnics,
            Bombs bursting, at least,
                        Drowning out our shouting fits. 
Now we’re grown
            And I’m struck by your shrill tonelessness,
            And how you’re off-put by mine,
                        How we feed each others’ orientalism,
                        How we lurch to war by default,
                        How our words shroud our acts,
                                    Eluded by empathy,
                                    Deluded by success,
                        How our luck begat chance,
                                    Feigning our sympathies,
                                    Judging in helping’s lieu. 

Now we’re grown,
            And I am not content with who we are,
            Who we’ve become, yet despite
                        Betraying our taken liberties,
                        Questioning our motivations,
                        Holding grudges in our hearts,
                                    Slamming doors at dusk,
                                    Feet still stomping at dawn,
                        We doze on our separate chaises,
                                    Whispering sorries at midnight,
                                    Making up with tempered delight. 

It’s complicated, you know,
You and me. 

Our denouement impends,
            Shuffling along, eyes fixed skyward,
            Sparklers hot-pricking hands,
                        On sandy, shore-lined borders. 

We’ll be aged,
            Enduring at the axes of indifferences,
            Familiar in each others’ flaws,
                        Falling into sleepy tropes:
                        Institutions over fervor,
                        Passing rites over liberties,
                                    Dispassionate in love,
                                    Convenient and proximate,
                        Choosing security over perfections,
                                    Making codes over prudence,
                                    Making things out of totems. 

We, too, shall pass,
            One, as it were, before the other, leaving
            Gaping wounds and broken hearts,
                        Promises, un-made and forgot,
                        Reminiscing youth’s ideals as
                        Intemperate sillinesses,
                                    Chasing dreams away,
                                    Napping through sunny middays,
                        More afraid of loneliness than failure,
                                    Praying that you’ll recapture youth:
                                    Praying that I’ll go first. 



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