Because he left her, she must make him
someone she doesn't love, rescripting as
deception their hand-clasped walks at dusk
It must have been lies:
each touching word, all thoughtfulness,
his shows of pleasure putting her first,
his endearing sex talk that first
amused her then got to her
(his hot moist breath the poison in her ear)
as he learned with seemingly selfless patience
how to move inside her as no one ever had before.
How can she change memories like these?
He must have been lying
because the man who did these things
could not leave her with no warning or reason.
But she knows he wasn't,
and, because she knows he wasn't,
she is stuck. No one can help her.
No one can enter the sacred circle they made together
she now wears as a necklace of fire.
How can she obliterate the person he is?
What is she to do? She has to live.
--Michael Ryan (The New Yorker, March 28, 2005)
I had saved this poem because I thought it was powerful, and could relate to parts of it. Granted I've never been IN love, but I know from my previous relationships/flings, how easily it is to start painting someone you once cared about in a bad light just so you can move on, even when you're the one who did the breaking up. I posted the poem for a friend though. Be strong Polar Bear!