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A rough draft poem about the relative nature of letting someone down gently. --S.

Down Gentle

by Suzanne Palmer
(all rights reserved)

Your feet
smell like cheese
and it kind of
turns me off.
Not a mild cheddar
or a baby swiss
but something European
with green blobs
and a warning label.
I find you empty,
lacking substance,
not even meager
breadcrumbs of self,
and when you whimper,
and think you shout,
I hear only vacuum
instead of outrage.
When you say
you love me,
I wonder what dreary days
you mistake for the sun,
what sodden ditch
is your passionate depths,
what curbside litter
is your red rose.
You leave your socks
on the kitchen counter,
and you like to
quote from TV,
and you call and call
and call again,
but do not hear the
dial tone in my voice.
You are dull,
and I cannot abide
your fickleness of reason,
your paucity of self-doubt,
and I won't say it's
me, not you
because it is you.
Still, I don't want
to hurt you.
If I offend you
just enough,
maybe you will
leave me alone.
So I will blame it
on your feet --
just your feet --
which smell like cheese,
and so I'm gone.