not quite synonymous, after all

maybe it should have been obvious
when you stopped staring at
me, your eyes crinkling
and shining
[maybe it would have been
more obvious
if you ever stared at me like
that to begin with]

maybe it should have been obvious
when i stopped holding
your hand
[because it’s too hot, i said
even though it was mid-october
and i was wearing goosebumps and a scarf]

maybe it should have been obvious
when you smiled too wide at the
waitress
and i didn’t even care
[because i trust you,
i told myself]

maybe it should have been obvious when,
all at once,
the silences became awkward and heavy and
we struggled to avoid them,
instead of letting them envelop us
[but maybe the silence
had never been nice;
it’s hard to remember]

but,
as things so often go,
it was only obvious
when it wasn’t obvious at all

because we ended with a snap
when we heard the word cartridge
[i thought ink
and you thought gun.]

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