Second place

When you said you never loved anyone

As much as you loved her —

Why did I pursue?

Why did I think I could

Make you love me more

By being kind or calm or patient

Or whatever else you saw in me that moved you?

And then, when you didn’t,

Why was I content with second place?

Did knowing you loved someone more

Give me some secret thrill,

Keep me guessing, keep it fresh?

Clearly there is a place for second place

That I have yet to understand.

Heart worm

You said: “You’re in my heart.”

And I said: “Like a heart worm?”

And you said: “Yes. And if you let me  in I’ll be your heart worm too. I’ll settle deep into your heart until I’m a part of it and I will take care of it.”

And so I did …

And you didn’t.


Good night, love. I wish I could stay.
[Hey,where are you? Can I meet you somewhere?]
I’d do anything to get you back.
[I think we’re finally out of each others’ lives for good.]
I’m no longer looking backward at my unhappy past, but forward to our future.
[I had to end it; we had no future]
I sent a brass band to your house, to beg you not to leave.
[Want to meet for coffee?]

What you broke

My heart, my trust—that goes without saying…

But here’s what else:

My sensibility, that I know a good guy from a bad guy.

My memories, tainted now with the knowledge of your deception.

My front seat at the newspaper wars, because I can no longer bear to read your paper.

My love affair with my city, because I can’t go anywhere without missing you.

My reality, because I don’t know what of the past year was a lie and what was the truth—and if what I lived was mostly a lie, did it ever even happen?

Your half of our promise that no matter what, we would stay in each others’ lives.

You say you hate me now–spit taunts that drop me to my knees.

I will never hate you.

But what you broke more than anything was my love.

Turkey Confidential

It’s Thanksgiving, around noon, and I’m cleaning my house and listening to NPR.

And Lynn Rosetto Kasper says, “We have Nick on the line from Baltimore.”

And Nick says, “Hi, Lynn. I’m on the road, on my way home to see Mom and Dad.”

And I think, “Oh, Nick…you have no idea how young you are.”