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Just Friends

“Just friends,” he says to you, the day you
finally muster up the courage to spit out your heart
in a choked whisper and palms that sweat hope

Just friends
Just friends
Just friends,
and yet he takes your damp hand in his and you,
you, as most lovesick girls are,
are left vulnerable and naïve and stupid.

And if you give in,

He’ll engrave a kiss that is anything but gentle into your mouth
following a fight with his latest girlfriend, who is beautiful
and your heart will stutter a frantic beat in its cage because
not all cracked things are broken.

And if you give in,

He’ll wrap his arm around you and
press himself into your side on the days he feels so lonely
and you’ll let him, because you think you love him,
and you think that any day now, he’ll love you back.

And if you give in,

One day he’ll use you when his wife isn’t around,
and you will welcome him with open arms,
and he will come in and you will let him,
sheets rumpled with infidelity and warm-blooded desperation.

The darkness of dusk laughs at you when you’re not sleeping,
and before he leaves, his lips against your brow,
not a soft gesture but a warning,
he’ll whisper, “Just friends,”
you know,
in case you’ve forgotten.





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