I confess my mind has become overprotective of my heart.
A defeated man perpetually drowning in the cesspool of disappointment.
Romance only breeding thoughts of “I don’t like you that way”
Coupled with slams upon a glass table as I weep
The dating pool always seems to have pee
And the blue ink is spreading
Frustrations so overwhelming that I’d rather throw the lot of you
Into the abyss of forgetfulness
Than deal with the aggravation that comes with heightened expectation
I have received so little from you
It seems women only want marriage with destruction
Because even if I present nothing the last man did
She will still believe I am him
Treat me as if I am him
Respond to me as if I am him
Being a good man does nothing
For a woman married to her past and present pains
I am expecting love everlasting
She is expecting a cheater, or that one day I’ll leave her…
Maybe I’m the fool.
Maybe I’m the overly optimistic romantic
Thinking of holding hands
While her mind is on possessiveness
Planning surprise picnics
While she expects wandering eyes in idle time
While she only sees the game
All loved ones call me a good man
All she can see is another male
I am the torchbearer sent to light her furnace of hope
While my furnace has one lukewarm coal
Who gets the ember?
Every step towards her strengthens the fear in me
Am I what I accuse them of being?
Guilt rises when others speak of my future wife
Torchbearers carrying a flame for a furnace devoid of wood
Is your flame warm enough to heat metal?
Is it strong enough to burn alone?
“There needs to be more you’s in this world”
While my brothers’ kids grow too old to be kin to my children
“I can’t wait to meet my sister”
My hope crumbled beneath the pressure
“You are a husband”
Yet, I could not find my family
I am at the age where new children and older women don’t mix
How did I miss it?
How did I miss every opportunity afforded me!?
I know I’m not stupid
But God, am I stupid?
Is my picker broken beyond repair?
All whom I dare approach hurt me
While everyone I leave takes away from my peace
Heart so scrambled I can’t tell who’s my enemy
Them or me?
I met a Lewis the other day.
She stood, in unform, alerting my gaze
While the Spirit corrected me for thinking “Mrs. Officer”
The dead resurrected before my eyes
My heart beat a little faster
I might have to change its name to Lazarus
This slim thick Ms.,
Because I checked the ring finger,
Interrupted my train of thought
And for the first time in a long time,
I was not caught up in a screen
I was captivated by beauty
With her black locs with blonde tips pinned atop her head
Her soft, but stern, eyes buried in her phone
Booty just poking
Standing like “Do you know I’m fine out here?”
She stood leagues above the average beauty
I had to take notice
It was demanded of me
I set my feet to leave
One light on its feet;
The other sinking
Discombobulated and out of sync
My heart whispered, “Make her smile like she made me.”
I walked over, tapped her on the shoulder
“Excuse me. I don’t mean to bother you,
I just thought you should know
I think you’re really beautiful.”
Simple, quick, and effective
Her smile came
Her teeth revealed
She was elated
Even as I followed with “I hope you have a great day.”
I was accustomed to this.
Give a woman a reason to smile today
Let her know that what she tried to do worked
No need to get caught up in anything else
Lest she reveal her truest self and disappointment rears its ugly head
I walked away satisfied…
But, my fingers…
My fingers wouldn’t stop tapping
My heart wouldn’t stop smiling
This timidity had become foreign to me
But its aura was so familiar and inviting
My feet stopped…
I pondered. I looked back.
“When was the last time I had done that?”
I didn’t know,
But for the first time in a while…
I wanted to know why
I trusted physiological responses to fade
But my mind kept replaying it.
When’s the last time my mind reviewed tape?
Were her eyes searching for more?
Was her phone a priority because her man was texting?
Would she be taller than me in heels?
Were her shoulders strong because she worked out?
Did she have a dip in that booty showing outside her uniform!?
Why is she not married?
How old was she?
Am I daydreaming?
What is happening!? Wait! …
I’m… hooked? …
Caught in the “what if” again
Like I wasn’t just loathing the dating pool
Here I am, snagged
And by a bulletproof vest, no less
I am… lured…
“How’s the love life?”
I don’t have the heart to tell them
I lost it sometime ago
Only the Lord knows where it went
I care not to follow
I care not to search
I do care… to know why the heart strings were tugged.
Why I am six days passed complimenting a stranger
And six days into wondering if she could be found again
I have longed for a woman to pray about…
Lord… are You waiting for me by the fireplace?
Is there a flame in the furnace, my Torchbearer?