There are things she wishes she could tell you,
to say them to your face.
But she doesn’t want to be demanding;
she’s already grateful for the space
you make for her in your life.
You have a wife
who knows about her –
your lover, –
and has no problem with sharing,
for her, too. It would seem
that in this harem
the lines were drawn long ago,
the playbook written to dictate the show.
but her feelings scattered,
and at some point in the last ten years
she felt an increasing fear
that you might leave.
Then where would she be?
What are the words she’s afraid to say?
Look in her eyes, kiss her lips as you lay
The words are hidden within
in a language beyond language,
her emotional baggage
expressed in silent screams, the ghosts of tears.
Desperately trying to hide her fears.
With her whole heart she loves you,
more than she can admit, more than she can own up to.
She jealously guards every moment,
and all the while foments
an unhealthy longing,
this warped sense of mourning
for a future that cannot be.
She knows this: she sees.
It is not in your nature to gift yourself to only one.
So she comes undone
whenever you leave.
Left to grieve
the loss of your lips, your skin, your touch.
She knows she wants too much,
but still she daydreams;
to be the perennial state
for her to wait
and watch for you, watch the hands of the clock
ticking down time till you return. Your cock
against her hip is the sweetest distraction;
a strange kind of traction
to ground her,
but it confounds her
that her feelings may have changed,-
That’s against the rules of this game.
So she can’t come clean
because that would mean
she might run the risk
of not being allowed to kiss
She knows the score:
she knows that you would have to leave.
So though it cleaves
her heart in two
to have only a weekend with you,
she holds her tongue;
So what? The damage is already done.
Better to be broken-hearted with you
than to be broken and without you.
But know this
next time you kiss
She would offer you her whole life –
Would your wife?
Author’s note: My partner is poly, and married to an also-poly woman who is genuinely wonderful, and I adore her. I’m poly and non-monogamous too, however at this current time he is my only partner. I’m pretty much aromantic. I haven’t ever wanted marriage, kids, the white picket fence, etc, and am completely satisfied with our situation. But, nonetheless, there is a little part of me that gets really sad and kind of depressed when I have to kiss him goodbye, especially after we’ve had a particularly intense time together.
“The Other Lover” is fictional. But I guess it is also in part a bit of personal therapy; a stream of consciousness in which I allowed myself to tap into that little part of myself and let her give vent to her maudlin and sometimes jealous feelings. (I hope that doesn’t sound too ‘wanky’, lol!)
I have read with keen interest, and agree very strongly with, the recent thoughtful discussion on poly and non-monogamy by Exposing 40 (https://exposing40.com/2019/05/15/friendly-concern/). And I also want to clearly negate any notion that poly/non-monogamy is something that is somehow done to or inflicted upon me by my male parner. I would hate for what I have written to be interpreted as any lack of agency on my part. I willingly and happily choose to be in my current relationship; the above poem is just an experimentation in giving fictional reign to the part of me that hurts when we say goodbye.