Fall 2005




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Challenge Prompt

Some Things We Never Forget (for LB)
Carly Notaro

I opened my door that September
to see you in your goofy grin
wearing your brown bomber like a straight jacket.
“You’re making me crazy,” you said. But I
didn’t know what to say. I thought,
We could never be together that way.
Later you said, “You are the love of my life.”
Then I laughed, deciding you must be crazy thinking that way.
Your letters were signed: Love and Best Friends, Always.
Once you even cooked grilled cheese, anxiously waiting, chin in hand,
for my vote that it was the best-grilled cheese ever. And it was
because your sweet hands made it.

Back then I thought another chance
hung around every corner
like the trains
we waited for in stations
sharing headphones
listening to Simon and Garfunkel
waiting to be homeward bound.

I wanted you to have the world
and someone who would never hurt you.
But I thought our being together would hurt us both,
leaving us trapped and cast out
of a world with rules that allowed only one way to live –
the world I was brought up in at least.
I wanted more for you, a chance at acceptance.
But did my saying, “Marry him,” trap you in another way?

“Forgive, but never forget,” you said. And you never did forget
the way I left us. Now I know some things.
I carry them with me like hungry holes
never filling
no matter what else I shovel in.
I’ve spent many years, covering the holes carefully--
wearing my own straight jacket,
made crazy with wondering
and left to think always
what if we would have broken those rules?

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