Even if I measured out

syllables to spell

an apology, how much would it mean

to you?

After all the times you’ve heard “sorry” emptied

of meaning

(only bitter dregs left, a

tea that burns instead of soothing)

how could you accept it, knowing how little

words are worth and how much

everything else costs? Though you

have long been

keeping closer company with tip percentages and

account balances than I am used to,

at least I know

no amount of apologizing will make up for this.  The list

of broken promises runs too long

in your mind’s reckoning, zeroes and minuses

written in the red of

your own blood.  If only I could shoulder

some of your debt, lay down words

like poker chips

towards a future where

you don’t have to keep count of sorry’s and

where I can give

without taking too much of you.