Solace in the perfect conditional
I would have loved to hear you sing to me,
underneath the autumn leaves of our favourite tree,
looking up to the clear vivid celestial blue skies.
I would have loved to hear you tell me stories
of your eastern adventures, great escapes and glories,
of the land of the people who’d once been demonised.
I would have loved to get to know you truly,
more thoroughly than your dearest friends and family,
and to hear of your deepest secrets, dreams, even lies.
I would have loved to bite on your soft ear lobes
when you least expect it, while amid the boleros
I hear your affecting laughter bouncing off the walls.
I would have loved to tickle your feet, your soles,
and nibble on your ankles, your heels, and suck your toes,
while you shriek, kick my face, bite your lips, roll your eyeballs.
I would have loved to see you wade in the river,
kicking and shimming stones like a giggling teenager,
bidding me to join you, screaming ‘neath the waterfalls.
I would have loved to caress your wobbly knees,
planting kisses from your birthmark down until your heels,
clutch you in my arms, and rub your aching pains away.
I would have loved to twirl your curls in my finger,
kiss your squinting liquid eyes, pull you close together,
and I would have loved to do all these all night and day
I would have loved to do many things, now you know,
from nibbling fingers and toes to tapas al fresco
I would have loved to be The One, not him you pushed away.