Love That Does Not Leave

how many times can I release the same man?

how many times can I let him go
only to find him there, again
hours or days or months later
sitting in my library peacefully reading my books
as if it’s the most natural thing in the world
as if he lives there
as if he never left

yes, he’s there again

I take his hand and show him out
kiss him on the cheek and close the door behind him
he does not belong here, in my house
not if he can’t choose me
right now, he belongs out in the rain

I walk into the bathroom and there he is!
drying himself with my towel
full of self-pity
complaining about the rain
about the cold
about life

I listen patiently
then lead him back to the door
“you can’t use me like this”, I say
or at least that’s what I WANT TO say – the words get stuck in my throat
because I’m a people pleaser
a coward
and because I still love him
even when he’s dwelling in unattractive self-pity

he turns around in the doorway

“are you seeing someone?”
“are you in love?”
“just pick someone, ANYONE!”

his words hurt me
would that change anything?
would he stop coming if I just picked someone, anyone?
if we were equally miserable
equally stuck in lives we tried to hurry on
tried to get over with?

he lingers on the steps

he asks me to come with him, to go for a walk
and I finally find the strength to tell him:
“I can’t. You still shake my world every time you show up. It’s not the not having – I can live without you – it’s the silent pretending that breaks my heart. You hurt me by coming here!”

my words silence him
as if he sees MY pain for the first time, there, right next to his own
“I’m sorry”, he finally says
and I close the door without a goodbye


my house is empty again, and I’m enjoying the stillness
no untouchable man walking in and out of my rooms as if he owned them
no one in the kitchen, feeding my heart
no one in the library, feeding my thoughts
no one in the bedroom, feeding my desires
no one in the living room, feeding my light
even my bathroom is empty
no grumpy man in there pouring a bath to cleanse his soul from fears and pain

I know it’s just a question of time – my locks are poor and I know my house is too big for one
peacefulness will eventually turn into boredom
loneliness will start filling my rooms and I will want to share them again
but not with a ghost!!!

please, next time not with a ghost…

(available as audio recording HERE 🔊)
(First published March 22, 2016)

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