I Can't Stay

Written by: Erin Beckett

All I know for sure is that I've loved you.
Simply that.
If you ask me to stay,
maybe I would, but I can't.
Someday, maybe I will.

But if I don't,
it's only because too often we jump
into futures that don't pan out,
and I need to hold tight 
to the desired end of what is ours,
our spoken deal.
 
If I could tell you just one thing,
(though I won't)
it's that I want our own to be unlike anything.
Unlike those mirrors that distort 
to form a backward image
of whatever had been real. 

Sometimes I'm still a child,
afraid that the thing I want
might not be what we wanted,
that what we need is something else.
I don't want us to fail at paving our streets 
through the jungle.
I'm hungry, but too afraid to skin the kill.

Will you wait a little while?
(I have to, even if you don't)
Because we've all seen illusions
created by ourselves, 
our reinterpretations of a past
so close, without touching what was real.

I can't have only pretty words.
I won't follow you there,
if it means finding out that's all there is.
I'd rather walk the streets 
in my head, 
I'd rather go to bed
with something unreal.