A teddy bear is such a childish thing, and yet, it can evoke
so many memories. One look at its small grey hoodie reading “I heart U,” takes
Franklin to a new level, both place and item,
standing there under the gazebo. Summer came, summer passed, and as I learned
much, I lost, too. Permanent, irrevocable, no refunds or exchanges.
While I wish I could say I want to change it, for the sanity
of future others, I can’t. I can no longer stare into eyes saying,
“It’s only you.” How can that be true when he knows so much?
I want to meet the wise one, the one who made no foolish mistakes, who never
gave away something they regret. Or should have regretted. And to their face, I
would call out their lies. If not to us, then they lie to themselves.
Heated arguments and screaming matches
were declarations of passion. And while the words were said, love was
shown more than told, a hankering sated by candlelight, silent
on a rickety, wooden porch.
Or perhaps catching a moment without the watchful eyes of observant
children. Two months as coworkers secluded from life left our
pixelated selves to salvage through Macs what we thought was whole.
Finality proved to be ugly, a monster worse than jealousy. Amid the anger
caused by six thousand miles between our bodies,
the grey hooded bear had fallen from my lofted bed. And I knew the words
“I heart U” no longer meant something,
neither in words nor in actions. Now he speaks of the duplicate
to his prototype, trying to win what he has already
lost. And for that, I pity him.