Those last times

With the men I’ve known

When we knew it was good bye

And not just so long

They’ve had time to think things through

I always look better in a rear view mirror

They circle back

I don’t ask why

I don’t have to

We just say goodbye

I send them out back into the world

A little better than I found them

Less wistful, more sturdy

Less naive, more world weary

Ready to love the person inside

They find after me

The women who hide

I want this for them

I get to see them transformed

They found a safe place to open up

And complexity they didn’t know

Existed outside of their own heads

But they linger

Looking for their reflection in my eyes

They cling to that hope I give

It isn’t a price too high for me to pay

Just a token of my gratitude

And when they do go onto love

I don’t resent it

I don’t question it

I know that part of who they are now

Was something I unlocked

My gift to them

Is the ability to love others

And their gift to me

Is my legacy

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