Illusory Love

I couldn’t see you clearly. My love of love painted you in colors you never wore. It hung mistletoe on an everlasting ribbon above our heads promising kisses that didn’t come. In love I wrapped the banister of our lives in sweet smelling wreaths of pine that hid the stench of loneliness that rose always from the roots of our relationship.

But my God my vision of you was beautiful. I have never loved the way I loved you, or begged the way I begged you for a hug, a kiss, eye contact. “Just touch my hair,” pleading, “love me!” But you were busy and life was busy and the boy, the beautiful boy, needed my love more. And so you went, and so I waited, taking scraps of love from your fingertips, a post-it-note with a hand drawn flower, my hand on your back as you left us again for the world. Yet I loved you, and yet you left while I focused more and more on the boy who was my everything.

When our roof caved in I called on others for explanation as to how a quarter century could be lost in a flash. “Why should he suffer because you were delusional enough to believe you had a happy family,” I was told. Oh no, you should not suffer for the colors I painted you with. For the love I conjured up and tossed like confetti over our love’s funeral. I was blind, too alive to a dreamed of togetherness, the future, of our retired lives, our peace, each of us sharing the carefully cultivated love I stored up for two, never noticing that your share was missing, held back, and disinterested in my hoped for retirement. Love made me delusional, trusting, far seeing, and blind to the pain in the moment. Now the boy is gone, and you are gone, and my love in all its many colors is a withered blackened thing.

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