Let’s reverse the roles, by Delaney Daly
let’s reverse the roles
this time, i’ll be the heartbroken edges of a love triangle.
i’ll wear a tattooed smile & lime green liver bruises
from too many seven dollar bottles of year-aged merlot.
i’ll be emotionally stable, respectful of your time & space,
& when i ask if i can bother you on your day off next week,
you’ll be the one to say, “sure, i’ll let you know,” but you won’t let me know.
i’ll be the cliché apology, something about “the grass isn’t greener
where you aren’t,” something about “four years too late.” you’ll just nod in
agreement, feeding on my graceless transparency.
i’ll be the ghosted & you’ll be the ghost, a fugitive, a white sheet runaway,
leaving behind only midnight texts & hope-filled daydreams. you’ll be a vision in
cold, beige skin, gazing upon you will cease the squall within me.
this time, i’ll be sinking in unrequited quicksand,
gasping for air at the surface, grabbing hold of something i’m not,
like the lover you actually want.
you’ll be the upper hand, raised in triumph, waving me goodbye for old time’s sake. i’ll be option number two, sitting at the tectonic-bottom of your mind’s trenches
until your first choice falls through.
you’ll be a good time, fearless fun, a bad decision, bolder than i remember.
i’ll be timid, still talkative, winding my way out of silent hesitations & on the off chance i can’t find any words, you’ll be all the right ones.
you’ll be shamelessly selfish, unmerciful in your routine, marking it null & void of anything involving me. i’ll be patient for the first time, waiting an ocean away for
the day I return if only to say:
this time, this time, let’s reverse the roles &
i’ll be, i am the one who’s in love with you.
Delaney Daly is a senior English Literature major at the University of Central Florida. When she is not writing or reading, she spends her days traveling and getting distracted by cute animals. She is currently writing a screenplay.