Conflict of Interests

They told me to stay away
from telling you about loss,
just as they told me not to
talk to you about everything else.
It’s quite a heavy lift
when loss is what I do best,
what defines me, what joins me with you.
But I know that’s a lie,.
How can I lose what I never had?
What we never had.
What I had was proximity,
as if I was standing next to
the Mona Lisa or a Kahlo self-portrait.
What you had was an admirer
who appealed to your sense of humor,
your intellect, your ego,
but never your heart.
And that’s okay, since your heart
is a battlefield, laid bare
by the conflict that finds you
at every turn and from which I turn
whenever it finds me. Now
I seek the peace I’ve never found.
It’s hiding somewhere in these words,
unlike the word “Friend.”

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