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I answer to different names
and my different worlds
are held in place,
by a distance of time,
of growing up and
growing old, and
the two-hour commute to work
and the collected minutes
of conversation
covertly whispered
across universes that
don’t touch,
tunneling through
generations-thick walls

it was supposed to be
temporary, but
I got too comfortable and
have come to like
my personal effects and
boundaries neat, that way
where I can protect each
perfect bubble
with automatic lies
and gratify my conscience
by holding such aphorisms
as what they don’t know
won’t hurt them
as gospel

but he deserves more
than a fraction of me
deserves more than weekends
or my spare energy
after I’ve moved the earth
by orders of someone else

his devotion is unconditional,
surrounds me like summer
radiating from windows
on a morning walk in June
with the green of
freshly cut doubts
trampled underfoot
and the harder I try
to contain it,
the more unfair it feels to do
to a man who’s so ready
to put diamonds around
my finger and my name
on his chest, and me
in the lives of his children
and his entire future

love, let not my fears
and the clutter of my days
pronounce me unworthy
of the best thing that
ever happened to me

love, you are the distance
long overdue
I need to go
love, if anything
can stage this coup
it would have to be you

“Khadeen & Devale Brooklyn Engagement” by photographer Joshua Dwain