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“me too”

When I tell you

I love you

you answer

"me too"


and perhaps

I misconstrue,

that you love

yourself

like the

affirmations

advise,


the ones we

see on Instagram,

that Rupi Kaur

is full of them,

churning them

out

like some poet in

a fast food

window,


where you pick

up a side of

"you're better off

without him"

plus some

platitude

on the rain

to wash it down,


or maybe

"me too"

is a memory,

in the (not so)

recent past:


an abusive ex,

a diddling dad,

the gymnastics

coach who always

held you snug,


checked out your

ass

instead of your

landing,

after vaulting

and parallel bars


but then

I've always

read too much

into your

words,

thinking there's some

story

below the surface,


a recollection

that encircles

like a shark,

that you're afloat

in a punctured

dinghy

awaiting rescue,


by an aqua

knight who rides

the seven seas,


one who sees

a kraken

where there's not,


thinks "right

back at you,"

"ditto kiddo"


is the beast

of a thousand

fathoms

he's come

hastily

to slay.





Andreas Gripp

September 2, 2023


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