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He lived down the street from us,
And came to be known as,
The man whose wife left him.
We speculated and surmised.
None but two knew the reason why
He became
The man whose wife left him.

He stopped cutting the grass
And weeding the beds.
He didn't play his uke
On his porch like he once did.
For all accounts,
He was a good Dad and Grandad.
No one ever heard a bad word from him.
He worked till he retired,
Never got fired
From any job he held.
I'm told he lived a gentle life;
Never started a fight,
Or said a nasty word.
That's what I heard
About the man whose wife left him.
Is it any wonder,
Left to his own devices,
The man whose wife left him
Left himself.
Ashwin Kumar Apr 20
It has often been said
That true love doesn't exist
But that doesn't stop me from dreaming
After all, I am a romantic
And it's not like I believe in true love
Only because I've read about it in books
Or seen it happen in movies and TV shows
In fact, I've experienced it myself
Not once, but twice
On the first occasion, I was young and naive
Enjoying life to its fullest
And when the love bug bit me
It was one of my happiest moments
I looked forward to every single day
And for the first time in many years
I actually made a concerted effort
To excel in academics
However, to cut a long story short
I missed the bus by a mile
When it came to confessing my feelings
Right, let's come to the second occasion
Technically, it was an arranged marriage
But for me, it was as good as a love marriage
Because, after our engagement
I grew so deeply attached to the girl
That I was blind
To all the red flags thrown at me
Every now and then
Again, to cut a long story short
It eventually ended in a divorce
However, as I've mentioned before
I have not lost hope yet
After all, time is still on my side
However, I need to draw a line somewhere
Firstly, being open and honest
Is an absolute must
I will tell you everything
But I expect the same from you as well
Secondly, I am looking for someone
Who is loyal till the very end
I will be with you
Through thick and thin
But if you cheat on me
Then it's over, once and for all
And finally
You need to accept me as I am
With my pros as well as cons
That includes understanding my autism
And the limitations it places on me
Especially as far as social interaction is concerned
Of course, it works both ways
I am not looking for a perfect person either
After all, if it's perfect
Then it's not true love
And one of the major reasons I still believe in true love
Is that it's full of imperfections
That's what makes it so endearing
And so human
robin Jan 25
I loved you with all of me and that’s all I could do in the end.

I tried everything I could to make you see my value but you closed your eyes.

So we walked away from each other.
It seemed to be easier for you, as if you weren’t fully there in the first place
While I clung, I clung like I was holding onto a frayed rope
The idea of you, the lifetime I thought we would live together, the future I believed was a reality.

I fell in love with our ideas.
The words we said together through our hot breath.
The sound of the echo of our laughs in a room.

The good times.
I held on to those memories of you even in a **** storm of bad.

For years I called out your name through that same storm
Hoping you would hear my voice and find your way back to me
Believing we would collapse into each other again and everything would be how it was, how you said for so long things would be.
But the thunder was too loud. The clouds covered your face
And the lightening struck the earth hard and severed the ground right between where we stood together.

I loved you like a child loves
But doesn’t know how to express.
I loved you with flaws and rough edges and plenty of mistakes
But with kisses and kindness too.

I loved you with poems and songs,
Romance and gestures that were seldom reciprocated.
I felt you on what I believed was a beautifully real level, but it was one sided.
The pain that hides within you I held it and tried to learn how to best kiss it softly.
I understood your intricacies, deeply and tried to sort through the confusion of why you are the way you are. I gave you excuses but I also had expectations.
I tried to be gentle, but I wasn’t always
and for that part of me I apologize.

I am coming to the realization that
A part of me will always be in love with a part of you.
A part of me will always miss the shape of you in my bed and the weight of your hands in mine. How we would giggle like young kids, So in love with love and how you would hold me close in the night.

But I am walking away from the you I thought that you were
And realizing that you weren’t ever really that person to begin with.

I am walking on broken glass away from the idea of us
Every step hurts
But maybe there will be less pain on the other side. Someday.

I still carry the good with me in my pocket
I have to remember you like that too
To remind myself it wasn’t just you,
I was part of the problem too.
Or I won’t be able to make steps away from the same place I’ve been standing in for years.

I have been weighed down by the cinderblock in my throat for as long as I can remember,
The words that never came out
The lead in my feet
My resistance to acknowledge and heal the ugly sharp parts of myself that have cut you.

The weight of the bad
needs to be acknowledged while I hold hands with the good memories too.
that’s the hardest part..

Things were not all bad.
You were not entirely a bad person
nor was I,
There was a time when what we were was beautiful and those versions of us will live in my heart always.
We are just simply two people with
Too much.
Stewie Sep 2022
How does it feel
To never really know the real you?
Looking in the mirror
Without any sort of recognition
Blank stares and soulless eyes
Who have you become?
You look right through me
As if I am only a speck of dust
Floating down to the ground
While you have found yourself
Through other people
I have lost myself
To the one I thought loved me the most
It’s a tragic love story
Of boy meets girl
The end.
unnamed Aug 2022
Love is pain.
Love is sacrifice.
Love is waiting and waiting for something that never comes.
Love is futile.
Love is hopeless.
Love is inescapable.
Love tastes a little like the cold metal bars of captivity.
Love is loneliness.
Love is infatuation, love is social pressure, love is a lie.
Love is keeping your mouth shut.
Love is insults in private and sabotage in the back of car seats.
Love is condescension, irritation and disgust.
Love is dinners alone.
Love is silence. Love is two lives in one house.
Love is two walls separating you and me.
sofolo Aug 2022
My childhood comes in fond waves of recollection.

The holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas were always my favorite times of the year. Times in which familial bonds felt their strongest. It was so easy and wonderful to be swept up in the whimsical magic of the holidays. Little problems or concerns are forgotten for the sake of repeating another year of well-constructed joy.

I would shiver with glee as we unpacked our three-foot-tall artificial spruce, set it on a stack of boxes covered with sheets, and decorated it with care. Proudly displayed in the window of our single wide trailer. Every night before bed I'd stare at it admiringly.

It ******* glistened.

My mother and I would piece together a jigsaw puzzle on a card table set up in our living room while watching Christmas movies on TV. It was humble, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I recall being upset one year when my father (correctly) guessed that I bought him a Buck Knife for his Christmas gift. He then made a comment suggesting that he didn't need another knife. It crushed me because I thought it was the perfect gift for a man I tried so hard to relate to.

Most of my childhood memories are filled with joy.

Pretending my G.I. Joes inhabited the branches of our softly lit tree. The elf and angel ornaments were either friend or foe and offered either shelter or a diabolical plot of destruction. The angel atop the tree (from my mother's first marriage in the '70s) was the queen that all the other ornaments and soldiers bowed down before.

She was a goddess.

These days I can't help but be brutally honest with myself and acknowledge that the connection to my biological family is barely existent.

There are no jigsaw puzzles.
No Buck Knives.
No glistening lights.
No tree.

Just me alone in an apartment with a glass of whiskey.

There was a time when I carried on the gleeful tradition of the holidays. With my own three children by my side, I carefully placed that angel from the '70s atop the tree.

I think they were as enamored by her as I once was. I could see the innocent thrill in their eyes.

I haven't looked into their eyes for over a year.

The naive childhood excitement of the holiday season is a distant memory. Now, these days on the calendar remind me of things I will never experience again. They gently, but painfully enter like a dagger between my ribs.

The wound is reopened every ******* year.

I look around and see happy little families shopping for holiday meals and gifts as I push my humble cart around the grocery store alone. I imagine them with a crackling fireplace in their living room like I once had; decorating the tree and listening to holiday tunes. Dancing and giggling.

I can't help but wonder if my children are placing that angel atop the tree with their new dad.

The angel their grandmother passed along.

Her broken marriage.
My broken marriage.

And still, that cardboard angel sits atop the tree spreading joy.

She's a goddess.
Written 11/29/2015
sofolo Aug 2022
Time has been
                          lost again.
into the
cracks in
the floor.

With a pounding heart
I grasp
for the remnants
                              of memories
but they have      slipped
into distant          caverns.

Blurred figures
of my past
constructing walls to
                                   opaque themselves
to mere whispers.
Written 9/7/2015
sofolo Aug 2022
I keep falling in love with ghosts
They flitter in and fade away

Three little spirits slipped wetly into my hands
****** and beautiful; we called each other family
The foundation cracked and poison filled the gaps

They used to laugh and call me daddy
Now…silence and estrangement
That name is reserved for another

Everything in my life was thrown into a heap
Misunderstanding and pain collided to spark the flame
I walk through this new reality, ash covering my feet

Yes, bartender, I’ll have another
And another


A wraith tall and handsome extended his hand in kindness
I reached with my entire being
Poured my heart into his chest

For a moment he washed me clean
We laid bodies entwined as poetry spilled from his lips
A summer zephyr under my wings
I was a phoenix

Balladry devolved to insult
He removes the dagger and ashes spill out
My brokenness is scattered everywhere

Yes, bartender, I’ll have another
And another


Splintered, scaly hands attempt to rebuild
A heavy mind sits in an empty room
Passing by houses filled with the ones I love
Never fingers to grace cheek again

I’ve become the stranger that can’t find a home
Saliva stretches as lips part 
Lungs evacuate and heartbroken cries disappear into the sky

This hollowness haunts me like an apparition
Love…the ultimate curse
It’s previous forms have burned me to ash

Yes, bartender, I’ll have another
And another
I’m in love with ghosts
They flittered in and faded away
Written 8/6/2015
sofolo Aug 2022
I always wake during the strangest of hours. Time is supposed to be a foundation—something in which to measure and organize our existence. For me, it slips through the fingers of an outstretched hand and dissipates into vapor. There is no comfort in its passing, only a fleeting shadow of an old friend. I recently drove through the worst fog imaginable; every moment was a struggle to remain between the worn-out lines. I squinted even harder and my singular headlight tried its best to help illuminate a path. Its efforts were valiant, yet meager. This is how it is for me now. This is how the days flicker by; in fog, in a haze, no true distinction from one to the next. I squint. It is in vain.

3:00am. I abruptly sit up and my eyes dart around the room that has become mine for but a little while. My conscious mind is still unscrambling data—separating dream from reality from memory. It all comes into focus and my chest heaves as I remember that my children are 539 miles away. They are in their own temporary rooms. My fingers touch the place on my bed where my son recently lay and told me how much he loved me during our last night together before the Five Week Separation. I cognitively continue to process the situation while simultaneously repressing it into deeper and more distant caverns.

My feet touch the floor and I find something to eat. I watch a movie to distract myself, but only feel all the more hollow. I shake my body into movement. I dress myself and head outside. An introspective playlist accompanies me as I walk along the Rock River. I drink in the breaking morning light until I become intoxicated by the sheer beauty of every single moment: the couple walking quickly by; the glow from a nearby kitchen window; the fishy smell of river water. This is the town of my youth, and in a few short weeks, I am leaving it far behind—yet again.

I walk the familiar streets and enter a café that is filled with countless memories of old friends, love, and laughter. The tables are now bare and the chairs empty, but I can still see the ghosts of memories projected throughout the room. The owner asks me how I am doing and how many kids I have now. I respond in as few words as necessary without being crass. I pay for my latte and scone, then turn away and wonder if I will ever buy coffee here again as the door’s abrasive dinging announces my exit. I slip my headphones back on and turn the volume down on the world around me. Everything seems more cinematic when I am orchestrating the score. Cars rush by and my scarf flutters in the breeze as a violin crescendos and a banjo jangles.

I trek back to the place of transient residence. Enough self-reflection for today. It’s time for some productivity. Everything is so very different now. Strange and painful, yet beautiful and mysterious. I am still me. My children are still my children. I think of them as I breathe in the damp morning air and slowly look around one more time, trying to record every detail in my memory. Everything is calm. I exhale deeply. As the breath escapes from my mouth it leaves a vapor that dances upward and disappears in a second. In that moment, time seems tangible again.
Written 12/4/2012
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