Thirty-Six Times

I ought to be sorry
that I let the phone ring
thirty six times
and let you leave
thirty six messages
and I really should be sorry
that I didn’t listen to any of them

and I should probably be sorry
that when you came over
I pretended I wasn’t home
turned off all the lights
even when my dog barked
to tell me you were

I should be sorry that
I was watching TV that night
that I really like that show
and couldn’t be bothered
when mom said
you’d called
and I never called you back

I could say sorry for
the days I brushed you off
even though I really did need to
study for that French final
I could have sat by you
sorry I ripped up the note you wrote
I didn’t mean for you to see

or sorry
I still haven’t read your letter
the one with my name on the front
in loopy cursive
sorry I let the phone ring all those times
and let you leave
all those messages

but I’m not sorry
even though you were my friend
once upon a time
I can’t take care of you
and this whole life thing
is a whole lot easier
without you.

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