for you

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I need you to know 
that you
are my inspiration

-Moray to Denise, The Paradise (BBC)


I will not cry when you
leave,
at least not where you
can see me.

Not close enough to be a friend,
not far enough to be a stranger.
The distance between us is necessary,
but it claws at me, sits under
the blankets on winter nights,
drifts with the leaves across
the windshield and dives with the gulls
plummeting towards the river,
as if they will dash it to pieces
if they ever strike the surface.
Maybe I will mourn for you–
not because you are melting
away in the downtown hospital,
not because you are immortilized
in a bloodbath of national tragedies–

I will grieve because I never knew
you
as you are.
I will always, only
be your 9-5 chat between
customers and walk
into the parking lot at closing.
I will never,
can never be
your listening solace in a dark
car at midnight,
your walk over and over
the crimson-blushed
cobblestones of this
rosy street.

I sit in silence
for the people
I will only touch the
surface of–
only see them in
the noontime
with a mask to
cover flaws and fears,
turning their back on the
shadow,
crawling into
the sunshine
for one more day.

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