Poetry Regret “Grabbing you on the steps of the New York Public Library…” By Troy Jollimore·Sep. 12, 2012 I’d like to take back my not saying to you those things that, out of politeness, or caution, I kept to myself. And, if I may — though this might perhaps stretch the rules —I’d like to take back your not saying some of the things that you never said, like “I love you” and “Won’t you come home with me,” or telling me, which you in fact never did, perhaps in the newly refurbished café at the Vancouver Art Gallery as fresh drops of the downpour from which we’d sought shelter glinted in your hair like jewels, or windshields of cars as seen from a plane that has just taken off or is just coming in for a landing, when the sun is at just the right angle, that try as you might, you could not imagine a life without me. The passionate spark that would have flared up in your eye as you said this — if you had said this —I dream of it often. I won’t take those back, those dreams, though I would, if I could, take back your not kissing me, openly, extravagantly, not caring who saw, or those looks of anonymous animal longing you’d throw everyone else in the room. I’d like to retract my retracting, just before I grabbed you, my grabbing you on the steps of the New York Public Library (our failure to visit which I would also like to recall) and shouting for all to hear, “You, you and only you!” Yes, I’d like to take back my not frightening the pigeons that day with my wild protestations of uncontrolled love, my not scaring them off into orbit, frantic and mad, even as I now sit alone, frantic and mad, racing to unread the book of our love before you can finish unwriting it.