Poem: Do You Remember Those Words?

A bit bleak, this one, but it was, after all, written in April/May of 2015 when a certain wound was new and fresh. I am, of course, long over it now (I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear), but, pedantic as it may be, my sentiment about ‘forever’ must remain the same. It’s also important to note that there is no ‘blame’ here, nor any regret; time has moved on, but poems such as this one do have a tendency of coating the raw emotion of the moment in amber for unchangeable preservation.


Do You Remember Those Words?

I never want our love to stop.
I promise you’ll hold me forever.
I may be paraphrasing, but
do you remember those words?
You said them, not I,
because I knew long before you
that forever and always
are only wishful thinking.
If we’d stayed together,
one day, one of us would have died,
leaving the other alone and empty,
the largest slice of their heart
ripped from their chest.
Because this isn’t just our story;
the most epic and love-filled tales
from the dawn of man
right up to its final night –
each has a tragic ending.
But that’s irrelevant,
because our story ended
far, far too soon,
before it had scarcely begun,
leaving us wandering away,
confused and numb.
Do you remember the prologue?
I do, with stark imagery,
and I think it was far, far too good;
we couldn’t top that,
though we tried,
so we coasted, drifted
from a day to a year and beyond,
and before we knew it
we were saying our vows.
The plot, though still cosy and warm
from being left in the sunlight too long,
had already started to spoil,
and one of the main characters
shrank into hiding between the lines,
while the other…
the other…
while you
What did you say?
I don’t think I love you any more.
That’s what you said.
And I said…
Do you recall?
I said…
If your love has gone,
then we should stop.
So we did.
It was that easy.
No, it wasn’t,
for that was the day we died,
our over-ripened heart
just shrivelled and shrank,
and, as it came open,
its juices poured out,
and all that was left
was a cavity.
Our unfinished story blended
like a cheap replica
with the countless before us
and those yet to come.
I recall, with those first words,
how I couldn’t believe my luck,
but, oh, how it turned,
ever so slowly,
and we glimpsed that fabled idea –
the one that lovers tell each other,
until time wears on
and they begin to see
on the horizon, coming closer,
the end of forever.
I’ll love you for all my life.
I want to be with you until my dying breath.
Do you remember those words?
Perhaps you do, but
I said them, not you,
and I meant them,
because I chose them with care,
knowing that nothing…
nothing but death –
that one, true eternity –
could ever last forever,
and that only death
would dissolve what we were.
I was wrong, and although
I always wanted you to love me,
and I so deeply wanted
to hold you forever
until my dying day,
the one thing I will take to my grave
is the meaninglessness of words
whispered in earnest
like the scribbled graffiti
of naive lovers.
Forever is a word
I will forever distrust.

Copyright © 2015, 2018 Scott Kaelen

2 thoughts on “Poem: Do You Remember Those Words?

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