just before you left

you walked through the door of my life
as though you were coming home

despite the fact we had aligned
to go off to war together

how long in coming
our handshake had been

both of us weary but grateful
looking as if we had just driven in
from purgatory

i was prepared for every outcome
but you

the way we so naturally cared for each other

pour another drink
throw money on the table
take the keys
offer an arm
roll another one so we can sit by our window and laugh

we survived the flashing random checkpoint lights and leering eyes

applauded for each other
cried for each other

snapped to attention
on reverent common ground

listened entranced as ghosts of dead starlets rang our doorbell

made love with biltmore rooftop aspirations

but what killed me
what changed the world
the reason we now call each other when we’re
driving alone

was the way you kissed me

just before you left

the music stopped

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