The Quondam Friend, Now a Fraud

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You stand before me:
Tall, poised, identical
To the friend I’ve known
For a lifetime and more.

Down to the fluctuation
Your voice resonates,
And to the flick of the wrist
Each movement impeccable.

To the unknowing eye
You are the same:
Unchanged, unadulterated
Just maybe older.

But you are a graphic image,
Something alike in appearance
But without the substance,
The defining qualities.

You are an imposter—
Different in character,
Altered in ideals,
Something feigned and different.

Striving to be something new,
You’ve stripped away your essence,
Lost the soul that gave you life,
Leaving a shell devoid of depth.

Dream, Come True

Not many things in this world have evoked hesitation from me.

Death gave me pause, before I dove headlong toward it.

I haven’t looked back since.

These, the Wings of Mirthless Musing

Can’t see how I’ll survive tomorrow
When yesterday’s gaffes still ruin my psyche,
Laying waste to this corporation of self-confidence,
Always reminding what I’ve missed out on.

It’s like my memory of you is parasitic,
Latching onto every thought and sucking it dry
So that there’s nothing in my mind but you
And a ridicule to afflict what should be divine.

As I replay our colloquy frame by frame
I torture myself with words I did not say;
Trudging through the minutiae after the fact,
Even though it makes no shred of difference.

This is the nature of my self-centeredness—
Wallowing where I should be reveling,
For a chance encounter with you is a gift
Not to be profaned by bouts of insecurity.

Evocation of Silence

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I struggled effusively to offer rejoinder
Without condemning myself to an oath;
To say a word you wouldn’t hold me to,
To break the constraints of your mercantilism.

A barrage of verbosity would flow
Like a deluge untamable by dams,
For they would shred concrete like paper
And all my vulnerabilities would be exposed.

This is a veracity inadmissible,
For no elegy must be recited
That would expound revelations of abhorrence
Or in any manner undermine my guise.

I quavered under the pressure you applied,
Exuding satisfaction from my social demise,
Until at last I confirmed I didn’t have to respond to you at all
And walked away soundly.