Sandra Benedetto: Unrequited

I prospected your heart,
excavating deposits of
glinting winks
and earthy laughs;

I mined your memories,
drilling down to
bedrock tears
and buried stories;

I thrilled to see
a flash in the pan
glittering gamely from the
dull red herring dirt;

a few flakes —
just enough
to keep me digging
in fevered expectation;

so I moved the earth,
and realized too late
that I was stripping
your soul

and mine.

The vacuous depths
of my greed
had obscured
all signs of misfortune;

my belated discovery
not triumphant but
more like swallowing
the silty truth —

that all there had ever been
and ever would be
was a single
illusory ounce
of good-for-nothing
fool’s gold.

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