Self-Portrait of the Poet as Saudade


(n.) a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament.

Nobody seems to talk about you anymore,
not even me. “Baby,” you’d say, “I love you
so much, and don’t you forget it.” But, I
can’t help wondering if all of this has just
been some cruel farce. You sold me a
dream, you sold me a fantasy. We’d talk
of going to Paris and writing poetry in
all the little cafés. X thinks I have it all,
but they don’t know anything about me.

I fall asleep to the photographs where I
catch a brief glimpse of your underwear.
While things may have gotten raunchy,
we had a hint of subtle eroticism surging
through us. Oh, how sweet it was to hear
the groaning of your just-woke-up voice.
I was looking at the Malbec and Bordeaux
when you said you had just got up to get
a glass of water. I was in the way, but they
had no idea what I was holding in my hand.

Nobody seems to talk about you anymore,
not even me. At dinner parties, I forego the
mentioning your name. “So, do you have a
boyfriend?” A part of me wants to tell them
all about you, but the other can only tap my
fork against the fine china, losing myself in
the empty chair across the room.


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