by Nyarai Khepra ’22

yesterday i told him i loved him
and he told me sorry
that he apologizes for what he’s about to
put me through
as if i didn’t have a choice in the matter
and suddenly i realized i didn’t
realized that he has me
in the palm of his hand like creases
got me creased up
bent in unimaginable positions
when i said i’d never fold
but for him i’d do anything
including love him
when he can’t reciprocate
can’t love himself properly
a task that i’ll never live up to
yesterday he told me how grateful he was
to be on the other side of unrequited love
he just love the way i look at him
even when he can’t stand to look at me
he said thank you for the the time of day
that i carefully packaged
and signed
my name right next to sender
everyday with the hope that one day he’d decide to
return my gift
yet he doesn’t cause he does not know
he says he never learned
i think it’s because he never tried
or doesn’t care enough to
yesterday i realized he’ll never say it back
and mean it
and i mean i’m grateful
that he can’t
or won’t
because i got too much love for myself
too infatuated for me to even notice that his love for
me was once unbearable
it shook him to his core so much so that
it was seemingly impenetrable
seemingly forever
nothing last forever apparently
it’s easier for things to fall at its seams
i wish i would have noticed sooner
i wish i would have believed him sooner
i wish i would have heard him when he said i love you
and i wish i would have said it back
because now he can’t
yesterday i found out the true definition of unrequited
found out what it meant to be on the other side of
meaningless efforts
and failed attempts at affection
a thousand yesterdays ago he told me
he loved me
and i told him sorry
i wish i would have apologized for what i was about to
put him through
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