You were twenty-three when we met, rebel of unrefined rhetoric.
I was twenty-six, what a perfect age to be. Idealism wasn’t dead and I could still make you love me for all these ideas which had yet to erode the fantasy.
You were twenty-five when I proposed, wearing plainclothes in a parking lot, where I once asked you for a smoke and hoped you’d nod, but didn’t expect such conversation.
I was twenty-eight and a fortnight when I asked your father, the warmest that relationship ever got.
Because we bonded over daughters,
I tried to be what I was not.
Imagined family and futures,
not this animosity, but then,
there were fewer signs.
Epiphanies haunt me in kind; there is no more normal than there ever was strange, and beautiful things begin the way they eventually wane; as products of their time.
Inevitability has a shelf life, yet this expiry is mine.
So I’ll lie to myself that this glass of whiskey helps, and true, it might alleviate this madness ’til the bottle’s empty or first light tomorrow, but this sorrow weighs upon my tongue like ibuprofen.
Some part of me is broken and I’ll use its shards to borrow years ’til I go bankrupt on self-doubt and counting pills, trying to find the magic in waking up without you.
It’s the falling asleep that kills me.
Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.