1. The Ex That Wouldn't Leave
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The Ex That Wouldn't Leave

It's morning at last.
Another day begins
With stretches to work out the kinks
From another night crashing
On my living room couch.
I can hear him getting dressed.
Soon he will be out of my bedroom
And it will be safe for me
To go back in there
And get dressed myself.
On his way to my bathroom
I say, "We've got to talk!"
And he says,
"I'm late to meet Joe."
Without breaking stride.
Over the sound of running water
He can't hear me ask,
"WHEN will we talk?"
God damn it!
He HAS to be doing this on purpose.
I better get ready for work myself.
While I'm picking out
My clothes for the day
He disappears out the door.
I know I'll see him again
When I'm too tired to talk.
I tried to end it
This past summer.
God, what a phone bill that was!
He seemed to understand.
I managed eventual return
From the guilt trips
He sent me on
During those long long talks
That clearly went nowhere.
He came back
Pretending we were still together.
He pressed my buttons
And kept me feeling guilty
For days at a time.
What stops me
From changing the locks
While he is gone?
Well, he'd be at the door
Or at the window
With that hurt-puppy face
Wondering why I locked him out.
Why the hell
Can't he stay
With the guy he met last month?
He certainly spends enough
Time with him now!
I should just give up
Trying to explain to him
Why I won't go into
My own bedroom
While he is there.
We can't be lovers.
We can't be friends.
The promises we made
We cannot keep!
Soon he'll be gone.
Dear God, PLEASE
Get him gone soon!

30 December 2000

by Bill Cattey