The Game I’ve Played

Mantra: “I can try.”

When it started,
I committed.
I didn’t back down.
She didn’t pull through for me,
but I didn’t quit.

We met.
A planned meeting.
I don’t know,
what I thought I’d do,
since I was otherwise

I didn’t want you to think
that I was unfaithful.
I’ll be damned
before I break
someone’s trust.

I’ve replayed every word,
and kicked myself every time.
It’s always a game.
The outcome
doesn’t look

But I’ve tried. I’ve tried a lot.

Somehow, you keep stealing my breath.

And I’ve been chanting this mantra
all along, hoping for anything at all.
I think either way, you’re gonna kill me.
I’ll agonize through silence,
and I can try, I can try—
not to love you.

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