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It’s Never Going to Be as Good as You Want It to Be

You’re a man now, I guess.

In silence, a whisper

is an echoed shout

across a chasm wider than

bedsheets and blankets.

A canyon I wish I could cross,

to pull her close, feel two

become one– cotton

and blood– but I burned

my tenderness in seventeen

seconds of numb


Backs facing each other,

we play pretend

a little while longer.

Quiet breaths concealing

life. In morning’s

steel she’ll leave,

hair tied up– a wilted daisy.

A whisper in an empty

room is too late.

I was more of a man before.

[Note: This piece first appeared in Volume 55, Issue 2 of Wisconsin Review]

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