He called her perfect,
Thinking to make a gift of his adoration,
not knowing what a tight prison that word can become.
The smitten lover,
painting his love in the glow of his own imaginings
His fantasies brought to life
Warm and breathing.
But that paint hardens so quickly,
The colors of his illusions freezing her motion,
Were she to move,
Her gestures could not follow his fantasy’s pattern
for her movements can never match his dreams,
her expressions being her own.
Her thoughts and phrases,
compared to such an impossible measure
can do nothing but be found lacking,
as her lips speak from her heart,
and no one else’s.
That other woman was dreamt from a simple template,
more a reflection of his own wants,
a ghost of old hurts and new desires,
the futile dress that will never see flesh.
A garment he has draped her in
with his thoughts.
She sees it in his eyes,
the love for someone that does not exist
except, perhaps, within himself.
The quick shadow of disappointment
when her banter wanders from the script.
And so she measures,
Knowing that her movements will betray his delusion,
Realizing that to stay fixed will betray her reality.
- the South