Had I but known it was the last time I would look
Upon your face, into your eyes…
I would have lingered there.
Had I but known it was the last time I would feel
Your very presence, next to mine…
I would not dare have let go.
Yet now, they’re only memories, barely kept
In the recesses of my mind,
Threatening to tell me you never were
As you said, forever mine.
Then you were gone.
Had I but known it was the last time I would breathe
Your very essence, take in your scent…
I would never have exhaled.
Had I but known it was the last time I would taste
Your tender lips, with honeyed kisses…
I could not have pulled away.
Yet now, they’re only demons, taunting me
Within the dreams of restless sleep,
Making me believe you have returned
To be, forever mine.
Then you are gone.
Had I but known it was the last time I would hear
Your words so tender, full of love…
I would have blocked all else out.
Had I but known it was the last time I could sense
The bond between us, sworn eternal…
I would have prayed for its recapture.
Yet now, they’re almost gone, departing me
As if you never were, or did not care,
Beseeching me, forget the love we shared.
An empty space, forever mine –
For you are gone.
© 2012 Jody Love
Recesses. Published in World Poetry Movement (compiler), Great Poets Across America: A Celebration of National Poetry Month. ISBN: 978-1-61936-035-8.
(Author’s note: I’m sure the loss of someone we love, under whatever circumstance, resonates deep within our souls. I term it “the without within.” As 9-1-1 poignantly calls upon us again today to remember loss in conglomeration, it amplifies that empty space for many, individually and as a nation – and even as a world desperately in need of love, forgiveness, and understanding.)