you were decaf coffee
on a morning I needed a jolt of caffeine
you seemed close enough to normal,
and I didn’t realize the difference until I felt it.
you were a shot of heroin to the vein
of an addict who had been clean ten years
you were the devastation
of that one final high.
you were a blazing campfire,
the smell of the smoke invading
skin, clothes, hair, breath
and when the flames died you lingered,
the scent pervasive and stale.
you were my car key
when I needed to unlock my house
the idea should have been right enough,
but it was not at all what I needed.
you were a walk in the woods
during a thunderstorm
I felt sheltered and yet
I was in danger being near you.
you were fireworks
sparkling in a black ink sky
waking me up from deep sleep
fun but explosive, and always poorly timed.
you were a teacher, turning to face the class
just at the moment when
a note passed from one hand to another
smiles all around, but the laughter is forced.
you were almost.
almost doesn’t count.