Tonight will be the last time I see you. I will wear a pair of my prettiest shoes and tousle my hair in a morning-after manner. I will wear a new dress; a dress you’ll want to make a mess of, a dress you’ll only want to see on the floor of your bedroom. Tonight, I will look my best and the best you’ve never had. I will disguise myself with regret, remorse, and guilt — all of which will be yours from realizing how much you had missed out on, on what could have possibly been or should have been the most amazing relationship we’d ever have.
Tonight, I will attempt to hide this jaded heart on my sleeve. I will be on guard, with my walls up high and my gates locked. I will hold this tiny piece of hope close and pocket it when you confirm yet again that nothing is ever going to change between us. I will tighten my lips in fear of accidentally slipping out all the words I have stuck in the lump in my throat that aren’t worth you knowing because they only consist of fumbling declarations of fervor for you even though you don’t deserve such a thing at all. And I will not look you in the eyes so you can’t see the pool of water forming in mine as you leave me for the last time.
Because tonight is the night where we will finally say goodbye, to our potential to have been everything we’ve ever wanted, to our potential to have been more than the nothing we became.
I add up the times I’ve sat too close to
men I had no intention of pleasing and laughed,
head thrown back like a broken neck, hand
slipping down the inside of their thighs,
and watched them calculate the probability
of getting laid and weigh those chances
against the friction building in their slacks,
and multiply that by the number of borrowed
men’s dress shirts I sell to thrift stores every month
and divide the whole thing by the way
you counted every vertebra in my spine,
my derivative, tangent to my curves.
If I measure the distance between fucking
and loving, there’s an expanse of undefined space,
like an open dot on a calculus graph,
like the space between the asymptote and its axis,
Instead I might try to count seconds in a minute
or the number of gumballs in a jar
or the missing ships at the bottom of the ocean
or the interest owed on an unanswered text
or the numbers between zero and one.
I might try to make sense out of our parallel fingers,
or the perfect circle of a Venn diagram
expressing where “we” comes out of “you” and “me.”
The acceleration of two falling bodies may be equal
but I’m far past “falling” for anyone. Subtract
the moonlight and the fragrance of air after rain
and kissing in cars. If you ask what I need
with the average wavelength in the ocean
and the cosine value of wet wood over 2π,
I’ll tell you I’m looking for the limit
where emerald meets aquamarine,
where the power of caffeine equals the power of coffee,
where the rays of sunlight travel through
bird cages and rib cages and form a cotangent
to the cycle of self-destruction within me.
I’ll tell you I’m looking for the radical algorithm
of falling in love measured by
the meaning of an ellipsis in the infinity of an answer.