I Only Ever Needed a Friend

This is what I want to say:

Thank you.

But I have struggled

Trying to find the words

To make you understand

With absolute clarity

What you have done for me.

 

Two months ago,

I was looking down at my soul

Shattered pieces scattered at my feet.

I didn’t know how to put it back together.

I tried glue and tape and sticky adhesives,

But nothing would fix it.

I was afraid.

 

Two months ago,

I was told a new manager was coming in.

I swept the broken pieces of myself to the side

And hoped for nothing more than an ally.

 

I feel wrong saying you are beautiful

Because you are not mine to call beautiful.

But your smile is warm and your heart is full

And you are what I need,

All of the glues and tapes and sticky adhesives I couldn’t make work.

You are filled with a kindness impossible to manufacture.

You crush my worries and anxieties with your words,

And you are beautiful.

 

You tell me, “Thank you,” when others don’t remember that I, too, breathe.

You listen where others have chosen to be deaf.

I ask you sometimes how you always have a smile,

The one that stills my quaking earth.

You tell me life is everything you’ve ever wanted

And that one day, I’ll feel that way, too.

You are sure of this.

 

Sometimes when I’m feeling sad,

I think of you.

My mind conjures up the smell of your cologne

And I think, oh.

There are nice people in this world.

 

 I tell you that I don’t like most people,

But I can never make you understand what I mean.

I say, “I don’t like people,” but what I mean is –

“I like you;”

“You are special;”

“Keep smiling;”

“Please don’t forget me.”

 

It’s been two months since you joined our team,

And I keep trying to tell myself,

“You are not important to him.”

“We are coworkers; not friends.”

“He is seventeen years your senior,

With a wife and kids and a baby on the way,

And no matter how much you feel whole when he’s around,

When you go away,

To college and beyond,

He will forget you,

Just like everyone else will.”

 

I tell myself lies to make it hurt less when I leave.

Sometimes, it works.

But then you come in with your smile,

The one that stills my quaking earth,

And I let my heart fill with your love.

 

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