The last time I was on fire (revised) (a poem)

I’ve already made several small revisions to my original post; rather than change it again, I thought I should start a new post for revisions. Last night, I brought this poem to a critique group for some feedback. This version doesn’t address everything that was mentioned, but it does provide a clearer transition, and fixes a couple of small things that were bugging me…

The first time I saw you
I couldn’t wait to meet you
I wanted to tell you everything

I wanted you to know

I told you how I felt
before you could ask—
I had this feeling you were the one
and if we were going to have a life together
I wanted it to start now

The first time I kissed you
you asked me:

‘What was your purpose in doing that?’

But you let me stick around—
testing the waters
a little at a time
sharing moments—
and soon you came around

You overcame your doubts
and let me in

With you, I was unafraid
I found strength
I never knew I had

With you, I was happy
We were happy

until, in a moment of discord—
words unexpected, harsh—
memory stepped in

It was memory
from which I recoiled
from which I ran
that extinguished everything

Not just everything we had
but everything I was
everything I’d become
everything I might have been

It turns out
you were the difference

The time I spent with you—
that was the dividing line

That was the last time I was on fire

(7 July 2017—last revised 11 July 2017)

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