Look THAT Up

I want to immerse myself
in your kind of ugly,
to understand the impulses
driving your cruelty,
your indifference.

Internet access not available
so I avail myself
of an ancient set of Funk & Wagnalls,
dust covered volumes stored away
in the forgotten bowels
of an old stereo cabinet,
their chocolate brown bindings
cracked and faded, pages
yellowed, musty and fragile — like me.

There’s less of me now
than there once was,
driven to endless apologies
for caring gestures
that others might relish.

Saying I’m sorry
for getting too close,
for wanting you near,
for snuggling against your lithe, warm body.

I’m sickened by my need.

If only I could examine your motives,
unlock the hurt that nurses your pain,
expose the wounds you hide so well.
Dry your tears,
soothe your sorrows.
Urge you toward redemption.

I begin to explore. I flip the pages.
Your psyche here somewhere
in black and white…

In spite of those who say you’re no good,
that I deserve better,
that I should leave you —
I look for answers
to keep hope alive in my heart,
my heavy, heavy heart.

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