unreciprocated

April 1, 2017
By socialkaysualty PLATINUM, Dover, Delaware
socialkaysualty PLATINUM, Dover, Delaware
25 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.



So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?



And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.



And should I then presume?



And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ...

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head



Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;



That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:



“That is not it at all,



That is not what I meant, at all.”

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


I could feel the effects of the running race still burning in my legs, even though they were almost numb from the cold. I pulled the sleeves of my sweatshirt over the tips of my fingers.


“It’s definitely below freezing,” I noted, shivering.


“Yeah,” he said.


It was perfect though, despite the cold. The wind snaked through his hair, and he tried to push it back, running his fingers through his locks. I realized I was boggling, and I looked down.


I looked down at my arms, swinging at my sides. He brought his hands up to his mouth and breathed on them, trying to reserve heat. Then he put them back by his sides.  I glanced at him, resisting the urge to grab and intertwine my fingers with his. He was looking ahead the whole time. He sighed and put his hands in his pockets. I looked away, out towards the horizon. The city was bustling in the distance, the clouds barely blocking the sun. Blue sky was peeking through the silver linings.


I looked down the hill. Everything was smaller than me. It felt like I was on top of the world.


“It’s like we’re taller than those skyscrapers,” he uttered.


His icy blue eyes were filled with wonder. A smile was tugging at the corners of his lips, reaching into his rosy cheeks.


“Yeah,” I laughed lightly.


In that moment, it was like the world stopped. Like it was the first time I’d ever laid eyes on him. Even though he didn’t see me, I saw him like I never did before. My heart was racing wildly. I never knew someone could make you feel something like this.


Then he looked at me, his eyes gleaming yet somehow still absent. My knees became weak. I felt something more than I ever had before. Three words were on the tip of my tongue, I had to fight myself not to say them.
It was in that moment that I realized I was in love with him.


He opened his mouth as if to say something, then closed it. I was about to burst.
He stopped walking.


“I’ll see you later, it was great running with you.”


I snapped out of whatever daze I was in. I hadn’t realized we had reached the road for his house.


“O-Okay,” I stuttered.


He waved, and I waved back. I looked ahead, hesitating, then forced my legs to move. Stuffing my hands in my pockets, I turned around and watched him go. He didn’t look back.


And it was in that moment that I realized I could never have him.


The author's comments:

the feeling when you look at someone but they don't look back. 


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