Plaint... of a Not-Quite Lover

I didn't know it would be like this;
I didn't know I'd feel this much.
I thought it was but a simple thing:
A casual, lucky chance of pleasure.
But now I find myself dis-eased,
With a lump in my throat I cannot swallow.
A sense of loss pervades me now,
And I wonder, for I only lost what I never had.
Perhaps that's it: the never knowing,
The wondering always what might have been.
In another place, another time,
We might have found true lasting joy.
If things had been but otherwise,
We might have flown together to the sun,
Like two swooping hawks, wheeling and circling,
Rising higher and higher in endless summer skies.

I wonder why I feel this way,
For it never grew to the stage of love.
We talked but little, barely touched,
But kisses and silence spoke enough for us.
Can it be just my silly rebuffed ego:
That ridiculous male complaint?
In truth I do not think it so,
For it's not rejection that burns me now.
I cannot wail and beat my breast,
Wounded vanity held up like some trampled flag.
I cannot resent or hold some absurd grudge,
Pretending to claims I never made.
We are not children to pout and sulk;
We're not young lovers, wild and hot;
We both know the reasons and the right,
We both know the sense of what's been done.

Whenceforth then this sad malaise,
This silent, brooding melancholia?
Why does such a simple understandable thing
Keep me so long staring from my window?
I think it's just that something's gone,
Some gentle warmth has left my life:
These last few weeks, though I hardly knew it,
The thought of you has brought me joy.
Each morning as I woke I would think of you -
Wondered if this would be the day
When, all barriers crossed at last,
We'd lie together side by side.
I'd think of you often throughout the day:
The flitting emotions on your sensuous lips;
The sun on your hair; the curve of your hip;
The light in your eyes as you looked into mine.
It's not the lost love-chance I miss so much,
Nor even the dashed hopes of physical joys;
But the simple knowing, throughout the day,
That somewhere out there, you thought of me.

					Brian Crawford 1983