Emma McCoy


just once

I pick at the     white linen      tablecloth just a little
and I do not meet your eyes just yet though     I want to
because           I am not ready for that yet though
we talked on the phone just    last week and the most
intense part should be                         over                 right?
when I came to your wedding and you came
to mine and     I cheered         with the force of a thunderstorm
and your face was like the rain           breaking
and now not one but two decades have passed
and I cannot meet your           eyes because I cannot
say how deeply           I love you        and God
says     deep calls to deep at the roar of the waterfalls
and I say          my soul calls to yours at the whisper
of the sidewalk corner            when we walk
to different cars and look back once at different times
now let me say this once         I love you in every way I can

Emma McCoy is a poet and essayist with love for the old stories. She is the assistant editor of Whale Road Review, co-editor of Driftwood, and poetry reader for the Minison Project. She is the author of “In Case I Live Forever” (2022), and she has poems published in places like Flat Ink, Paddler Press, and Jupiter Review. Catch her on Twitter: @poetrybyemma

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