It Couldn’t Have Been You*

The years play tricks
and make me wonder
if I really remember the way things were
or if sometimes
I remember
a version that doesn’t burn
or open wounds anew.
It is not a matter of merely forgetting
due to the years extracting their toll.
No, it is much deeper than that.
And it’s sure not trying to make it
turn out the way
I wished, prayed and dreamed
it would be.
Nor it is a lie.
It is more like a view
of how you see it now. 
Seeing the good side
rather than seeing the bad.
But even that is too simple.
Sometimes I think I was born
with a missing part.
The part that let me open up
all the way
and let the essence of another
blend and join me to become one.
A force that would never allow
anyone to pass beyond a certain point.
More than a few have tried.
Well, if the truth be known.
I tried to get them there, too.
Never to be.
It must be a defect
a flaw with a genetic base.
For it couldn’t have been you,
the one I lie and say
never existed.
It couldn’t have been you
that burned that bridge
leaving no way for others to cross.
Surely it wasn’t you
that has pushed me to the dance floor
a thousand times for too many years to count.
Pushed me whenever
Lenny Welch’s voice flowed from jukeboxes
in dozens of dimly lit bars
with “Since I Fell For You”. 
It couldn’t have been you
whose breath I remember
warm and exciting
on that magical spot
at the edge of my cheek and neck.
Oh, and that scent, that faint scent
from your hair
with my face pressed close
as I breathed. 
Just breathed you in.
No, it couldn’t have been you.
No one could have penetrated
that wall, that gap.
I know they couldn’t
for there were more than a few
that tried.
They tried just as I tried to find
someone to slip inside.
Ah, but there was that flaw.
The one I must have been born with.
Surely, I was born with it.
It is so much easier
to believe of a defect
and door that can’t open
than to believe someone
once entered bringing joy untold.
Showing that it actually could be done.
No, no.  It had to be some imperfection
in me that kept all those others away,
for surely  heartbreak could not find
the brick and mortar to build such a wall.
No one like that could ever have existed
in my life.
I know, for I’ve said it over and again
for years. 
Would I lie? Lie to even myself?
How silly it would have been
to dream of someone for years.
To have her memory fill me
on every moonlit night,
to be in the chorus of a thousand
of my favorite songs.
No.  I was just born
with a missing piece.
It couldn’t have been you.

Michael Mathews
01:05 PM