Sunday, February 14, 2010


You wrote me a valentine
On a crumpled serviette
Stained with grease
And laced with tobacco
In a Chinese restaurant
In the centre of Kyoto, Japan
The pen tore through the flimsy fibres
And the pen ran out of ink
Despite your efforts to revive it
I could not make head nor tail of
Some of the words
Inky scratchings
Poor penmanship
You left it on the table
Casually directing my eye to it
You collected your coat
And I watched
As you walked out into the snow
As I picked it up and found it
Crumpled like a bird in my hand
It sat weighted by words and
Signed with love
This strange and beautiful thing
This offering
I almost wished
It meant less than it did
That those feelings could be returned
As easily
And simply as they were given
I watched you cross the street
Stooped over against the cold
And I shed a silent tear
Over my dim sum
Knowing I had hurt you
Knowing that I may not get another valentine quite like this
Lost in sadness and regret
I blew my nose into the heart of your words
And walked out into the biting air

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