You rescued me.
Not from life.
Not from the mundane relentlessness of movement and consequence.
You rescued me from the purgatory of
a self imposed world devoid of miracles, magic,
and passions that drive an anxious sunrise.
You rescued me from haunting ghosts with their
stealth rumors and tarnished memories.
From my constant slide into the emptiness of the void.
That elusive space between
existence and meaningfulness.

I cannot measure the moment I suffocated into slumber.
No witnesses are willing to testify.
If they did, they would describe an incremental decent
with no outward scars depicting when emotion diverged
from breathing. When it became easier to believe
the softness of a woman’s touch,
the satisfaction of her breath broken by anticipation,
the wonder of her heart racing beside mine,
no longer mattered.

You mon ami,
armed with a timid smile, a calm resonance, a fearful honesty,
rescued me from quietly drifting into the still dead quiet of
nights consumed by insatiable loneliness drawing
tired souls into infinite spirals of darkness cascading to black.

I am not what I appear.
It matters that you know that.

You see querido uno, my truth is contrary to image.
It is easier for a proud man to seem a philander than
to be pathetic.
When my first love was betrayed,
my devastated reaction was to withdraw.
It was only years later I found the courage to vow again.
Patterns though, tend to spiral in recursion.
Only this time, other considerations demanded a different outcome.

Exhausted from the second,
then third betrayals,
it simply seemed easier to stay, even if emotionally
numb and cognitively unconscious.

Resigned to life devoid of love, passion, and the emotional ecstasy of
a woman’s touch, slumber seemed the ideal sanctuary.
It was then, fully immersed in the void,
convinced it was where I belonged,
I met you.
In micro-steps, guided by your tender voice,
your subtle vulnerability,
and the easy way you caress lost souls,
I awoke.

You were not flirtatious. Not romantic. In no way misleading.
It’s that strange juxtaposition that drew me out.
An attraction that germinated during days of seamless conversation followed by
nights of blissful dreams where we were free to be together.
Like an artist lost to a world of color and shapes,
I was consumed in thoughts of you. . . Until that is,
rationality realigned with reality. Until that is,
the utter truth had to be acknowledged and I was compelled to accept,
you did not feel for me
as I felt for you.

I cherish you mon ami
for finding me. For providing
space where I could
find me too.

Reacquainting myself with the daydreamer,
the romantic, the shy boy who desires
to be with a woman who desires to be with him is
awkwardly like being a new kid in school.

You rescued me
from continuing to wander blindly through
the emptiness of the void.

Tragically though, re-awakening comes with regrets.
With so many sunrises to explore,
so many passions to re-embrace,
I regret that exploration and embraces will
not be experienced with you.
A boundary that seems so unnecessarily vague to me
but essential inflexible to you.

I cherish you querido uno,
and hold a precious part of my heart for you. . .
that is how I say, thank you.

R. M. Dolin, 2018