In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Sarah Kay is on the line.
After a long separation, I spontaneously invited an ex-fling to join me on a trip across Europe. Given our delightfully sordid past, I assumed the trip would be full of flirting and playful sex. Not the case. He showed up entirely disinterested in me, was boorish about my plans and ideas, and spent every spare moment texting other women back home. It was supposed to be a steamy jaunt with my favorite bad boy—but it was more like babysitting a sullen teenager for two weeks.
Prior to this trip, I had some long-lingering feelings and hopes about us as a pair. Suffice it to say, I’m over it. So while I’m not exactly heartbroken—this is no breakup—I still feel like I’m mourning the end of a long fantasy and confronting the reality of his indifference. Do you have a poem for this type of finality: when you at last see the truth of a situation, swallow it uncomfortably, and move on at last?
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