Back to the Before

You can’t go back

to the before.

Before the end,

the hurt lashing out,

the whip in your mouth

stripping flesh from the organ

that was once your shared heartbeat,

pulsing in time with your own,

dilating your mirrored pupils

in the chemical that became your history.

You can’t go back to the before,

before the middle when

your lustful ache was enough

to sustain your thirst

for connection,

before it became a casual

saunter to the end

and to the bitter excuses that followed.