Drops of Jupiter, Part 2: A Broken Guy/Girl Friendship

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In the fall semester

when you saw my sparkly diamond ring

your congratulations sounded hollow

as you clenched your jaw.

Yet you sat across from me

every day, sharing bits and pieces

of your life in conversation.

We illustrated autumn produce:

yours striped squash, mine pomegranate.

When I split mine open to draw the inside

you marveled at the chiseled seeds.

“Try one,” I encouraged, sprinkling a careful

few into your hand, and with the first taste

your face soured at the tartness I adore.

Then I laughed while you spat them out.

One day my fiancé met me at the door.

Upon introduction you both

became bulldogs defending territory

but he reigned as king

with his casual nod.

I chuckled inside and listened

for your low growls.

A few weeks before my wedding

the teacher addressed the whole class

pointing out the creative energy

that zinged between us.

While she spoke I chanced a look

to gauge your response

and in a moment’s flicker

I saw your smoldering desire

uncovered

and my heart broke for you

because you still tended the fire.

After the wedding

I returned to the drawing table

wondering if we’d still be friends.

You said “Congrats” with a tight smile

and I knew your ashes

weren’t yet cool.

Embers_01

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