Sometimes battle fields come disguised as tended gardens,
while scars parade themselves as beautiful, permanent tattoos.
Do you remember déjà vu?
Do you remember remembering me?
Do you remember seeing me for the first time and feeling like
we’ve been here before? Well, I do.
Like it was yesterday.
I know that it isn’t that you didn’t care, but that you just didn’t know how.
I know that it wasn’t easy to admit that you felt something genuine
that night we walked to the local taxi rank and you squeezed my hand
as though to let me know that you couldn’t believe that I was real.
Nothing about that evening was superficial, neither was the laughter
and the silly bantering we shared back at the restaurant.
And neither was the sex that sweltered the room with an appetite so
eager to please. You knew the word vulnerable when you were alone with me.
You told me you loved rain.
But I see now that it wasn’t fear that fenced you in from time to time.
But that it was pain.
The constant withdrawals weren’t that you didn’t know how to love
but that you were afraid of loving yourself comprehensively.
Running from yourself was the easiest exit to denial and when I saw
that you didn’t bother to stop for a breath, I realised that I needed healing too.
I could no longer masquerade the past as a self-serving tool.
You were not good for me and it mattered not whether we connected momentarily.
This was a passing stream of lust, the sweetest taboo and the wildest rendezvous
*Published with permission © Angela Nimah