But Not Like That

I'm going to start this out like I start everything else I write you

Even though I doubt that you'd ever see this

I swear to God that I'm not mad at all

There is no hate in my heart toward you or anyone

Except for maybe a little toward myself but that's different

And I have to say all of that first because I have some anxiety

Kind of like you do, but not like that


We were virtually flawless, or so I thought

Because I had you and you had me, no doubt

And I held onto you for six months straight

You were all I ever wanted in life and beyond

You were a smile I could wake up to every single morning

You were a voice I longed to hear tell me "goodnight"

You were the kindness I wanted to bathe in

You were the arms I wanted to be wrapped in until we were in our graves

You were the body I wanted to lay next to when we got there

And I know it's a morbid thought, but not like that


In you, I saw a father for my children

We went to that family Halloween party at your Nana's

I saw how you took care of your little cousin when she got fussy

You showed her the leaves on the trees outside and how pretty they were

She calmed right down and leaned onto your shoulder

Just before she finally fell asleep in your arms

And I watched you smile at her, then your dad

Then you smiled at me, but not like that


Then you drove all the way to see me

On that sparkling New Years Eve in cold, isolated, central Ohio

I cried in your arms, I was so damn happy to see you there

You met the rest of my family, and even my choir director from high school

I was so proud I got to show them why I was so happy

Why for once everything I'd been through made sense to me

When I finally realized what all the pain and hurt had been for

And I was ready to just be with you, but not like that


And I told you my deepest and darkest secret

Because I trusted you and knew you would understand

And you told me you did and I let out a sigh of relief between the tears

But then you came back to me after the sparkles had faded

And I noticed your smile faded too as you told me the truth

That you didn't, shouldn't, couldn't ever believe me

And that was alright with me I guess, but not like that


When January became February, I could see the light leaving your eyes

I consulted friends and they told me everything was going to be fine

I consulted blind idols and deaf oracles and begged me to be wary

And yet, seeing your pain, I never once backed away

Then one night there was a silence at the table where there should have been laughing

You invited me to the stairwell and I knew what was coming

I'd spent so much time falling that I forgot about the final impact

You said you'd been lying to yourself but you still cared about me

You told me "I love you, but not like that."


And now?


I am haunted by the thought of you inside my mind

Albums of songs that I can't listen to anymore because I listened to the with you

You are up there, where you belong and among friends

Because you're okay, you're fine, you can be happy

But I'm down here, alone, wasted and begging for another drink

I'm not okay but I don't want to get help anymore

Because it was you who convinced me I was worth it

But apparently I'm not worth enough for you to stay

But I don't want you lying to yourself and not being who you are

I told you once, I'll tell you a thousand times more:

I would tear myself into pieces to see you whole


Every night when I fold my hands, bow my head, and close my eyes to pray

I am plagued by the scene of a loud, dimly lit bar, the smell of beer rising through the air

And there you sit, a smile on your face, living your dream with an arm around me

That pastel pink t-shirt, your dark curls, the pea coat hanging off the back of your chair

And I asked what had gotten into you because I hadn't seen you smile like this in ages

No, I had never seen you so happy and energetic as this night in a downtown bar

And you leaned over and kissed me on the cheek before pressing your forehead to mine

Over the noise you said "I feel like I'm falling in love with you all over again."


So where was that only one month later in that damned stairwell?


Where was "I'm falling in love" when I wanted to "accidentally" fall down the stairs?

Where was "You mean the world to me" when my world was falling apart?

Where was "I want to spend my life with you" when my life was being destroyed?

Where was "I'll be careful with your heart" when you were crushing it in your hands?

Where was "I want to hold your hand" when all you wanted was to let mine go?

Where was "You're my everything" when you figured out I wasn't enough?

Where was "I'll stay with you forever" when you decided you wanted to leave?


Oh, I remember. It was all wrapped up in that phrase:


"I love you, but not like that."


This poem is about: 



Well written, thank you for sharing.


Thank you for reading!


I Love how you made it so i can relate .I felt all that you felt .thanks for sharing


I try my best to make it relatable if I can. Thanks for reading!

Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741