I Love This

April 15, 2008
By Tara McGowan-Ross, Cannington, ZZ

I love this like the china shop loves the wreckage of the bull
I love you like a dirty doll
On the cracked tiled floor of the local shopping mall
That yearns for something beautiful

This longing, this spite
This anguished joy
I want it. I want it. I want it more
Than a baby girl wants the broken toy
That now is just outside her dimpled reach.
Want it with the ferocity of those who don’t yet understand
Anything more than the touch
Of mother’s soft, well-meaning hand

I want what you can teach
I want what you can preach
I want whatever lies beneath
This smile you so hurriedly bequeath
To a world that has never known
The light it brings.

I want the love
I catch glimpses of
In the rearview mirror of my mind when I imagine what I might find
If you ever gave up on being tough
And decided I was good enough.

And this painted martyr
(Who doesn’t really exist)
Wants nothing more than to just try harder;
I want to shrug off this skin that clings
And stings
And feels foreign
And safe
The way home, one day, once was.
And never far from the where and the why-
I find the

Because you’re everything I wished I was
When I was too scared to speak
When I was in that car that day
With one of your many protégés
A prototype
Of the fantastic click! I felt that night
When I leaned over
And you leaned in
... and I wished I could have kept you there
With the bright lights gleaming in your eyes and in your hair
When I may have kissed you
When I could have kissed you

But I didn’t.

The smallest mistake I could possibly give
And one I’ll never, ever relive
Because it took much less than death, bad beer, or just bad breath
Or disease or just a shining lack of things to do
Or really anything that could bar me from you
It didn’t take hard drugs or wine
To make me sure
To make me decide
To make me want to make you mine

And I won’t cry, because this isn’t the end of you and me
But the end of an era, the end of a friendship
The end of what was and what could be
The end of everything I tried for
Because I’m not your friend
And I do want more.

And now…
Now I wonder what will happen
If I give up this mission
If these words I put so much faith in now turn out as empty as a politician’s,
Should I succumb to my fears
And we don’t become what I want over these next two years;
What will I become?
Will I learn?
Will I progress?
Will I ever get the chance to undress?
Is this really you?
Or is it me I fight?
In this adolescent stronghold, so sheltered from the light
All I can do, all I can say
(And it makes me feel weird to be saying it this way)
Is that until it comes time to say goodbye;
The least that I can do

Is try

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