• Xanadu Literary Magazine

Keya Bartolomeo

What Could Have Been

Maybe what we once had,

we can never get back.

Maybe what could have been,

we will now never know.

You walked away, leaving me

confused, hurt, pensive, bitter

and sorrowful, as we said goodbye

to something that had

the potential for greatness.

Something I now realize was left

so underdeveloped and inauthentic.

But ultimately, I can only feel sorry for you;

as you may never know the meaning of my love.

Maybe we were once something

and now we are seemingly nothing,

only but strangers,

acquainted from a time past.

Maybe you hurt me,

deciding to never look back,

While I mourned our loss.

Maybe we walk the halls,

staring at each other,

trying to recall memories

of the times that used to be.

I cannot regret nor can I approve,

I saw your potential

for kindness and sincerity,

but you fell far short.

And I pity your inability

to seize life’s opportunities.

Though I still hurt, I can wait.

I choose not to settle.

And after all the hours spent

analyzing, procrastinating, and reflecting

I can honestly say I do not understand

why others cannot grasp the concept of empathy.

In the end, chances are

if you've wounded my sensitive soul,

I have chosen to forgive you,

while stoically weathering the hurt.

Through the Years

At 5, we rolled around on our stomachs

as if mermaids roaming the sea.

At 6, we jumped from chair to couch,

or swing to slide, never touching

the boiling sea of lava.

At 7, we rode our bikes, sprinting from

the monsters trying to capture and eat us.

At 8, we used cardboard and markers

to create remote controls, shooting away

the bad cars surrounding us on the road.

At 9, a hose and a trampoline were whatever

we could make them: a house, a boat, even a gameshow.

At 10, the backyard was more than a playground.

It was wherever our minds would take us,

most often the forest of trees lining the fence,

we referred to as “The Woods,”

which was a startling expanse of the unknown.

At 11, we swam around bending water

like the avatar, We found sticks on the ground

and waved our wands, each a different

Harry Potter character casting a spell.

I am now 17, imagination tempered,

by the knowledge of maturation.

But it is not gone. When the fire ignites,

we will again swim the magical seas of mermaids,

conquer the fiery beast of lava, and

overcome the monsters from our nightmares.

We will bend water, use magical charms,

and eliminate evil.

Because imagination does not leave us,

it simply hides when we let it.

For those who are willing to uncover

the mystery of adventure,

and the youthfulness of creativity,

will find warmth from a time long gone

and enlightenment for a time to come.

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