The wandering lover’s final, lingering hope

look for her with self-imposed singularity
set yourself, like a ball on the tee
destined for impact
air, hover, and fall
the fall is disappointment
emptiness, doubt, and pain
avoid the fall
accept she’s gone


when she says she loves me

he says he loves her
and I ask again about her website
it’s just a way to make money, he says
it’s nothing
she’s smart – a business woman
a genius
her own boss

he says they’re going to get married on a beach
and run barefoot into the surf afterward
she’s the only one for him, he says

I ask again if he is sure
considering… you know… her

he says he knows how it looks
everyone’s been asking him the same thing
telling him to be careful
to watch out
she’ll break your heart, they keep saying

he drives on for a while, not talking
watching the yellow line in the road ahead

he says, the only way I can explain it
is in the words of a song:

“if you could only see the way
she loves me
then maybe you would understand
why I feel this way about
our love and what I must do”

I knew the song
it was big in the nineties
I couldn’t remember the name of the band
I still can’t

I joined in and sang along with him
as he drove

“if you could only see how blue
her eyes can be when she says
when she says she loves me”

she didn’t break his heart, in the end
not really, anyway

I saw the master at the mill today

From glory told by gold upon his wall
and silk which lay across his fair bride’s lap
by halls which make his daughter’s laughter ring
and by the tales of past exploits we sing.

This master to whom masses all have bowed
Whose fist and foot has dazzled man and boy
Inspired mirth and pride from many crowd
And caused the city’s heart to swell with joy

Oh master, have you fallen on hard times?
Why is your face begrimed with lowly dirt?
What labour causes bend along your spine?
What causes sweat and tears to stain your shirt?

Oh master, pain that echoes from your eyes
Is not from broken bone or mangled limb
It’s from the loss of all the heart doth prize
It’s from the emptiness that’s haunting him.