The saddest thing

is that both guys are really trying

to make their relationship work long-term,



not to get bored with the domestic routine

or by waiting up with the same person every day

naked but surrounded with baggage;


not to do a full-body scan of the admittedly hot

stranger in the adjacent supermarket line;


not to say yes with words or otherwise

when opportunities arise to cheat;


not to let opportunities to cheat arise

in the first place;


not to let their eyes wander and gaze

longingly  into those of others

at work, in the gym, on the street;


not to flirt with every man they meet

or just see who’s “right now” on Grindr

for a few lost hours;


not to wear themselves out with

Internet porn and then decline

sex with each other or say yes

without real interest or enthusiasm;


not to get a little drunk and end up

in bed with friends or strangers

or colleagues or former lovers;


not to forget the good times or

stop making new ones;


not to rage and scream

or clam up and simmer,

not to have “communication issues”;


not to say “I love you”

in the same tone they use

to express boredom, complacency,

anger, resentment, or the need

to take out the trash;


not to say it’s just to0 hard

and give up just a few months into

even if it’s already their

longevity record;


not to sabotage it when it’s going well

because they’re afraid of success or failure

or stagnation or what

they must be missing;


not to compromise too little

or too much, not to succumb to

mental illness;


not to be quitters or cheaters or liars

or addicts or assholes.


The saddest thing

is that they’re really trying

except when they’re not,

and even then

they want to.


Copyright 2014

T. Allen Culpepepper






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