To The One Who Loves Him Next

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To the one who loves him next, I hope you treat him kindly.

He’s softer than a psalm, and loves very deeply, and blindly.

So please don’t take advantage of his vulnerable nature.

I’d like to think I taped him back together, but it’s hard to untear paper.

To the one who loves him next, he prefers to stay at home.

He downs whiskey like water with the record player on.

Not that he has a problem. It’s all in jest and fun.

Only be concerned when he switches that for rum.

To the one who loves him next, he has mastered silence.

If there’s noise, he’s uncomfortable. Let him be quiet.

To the one who loves him next, he’s articulately thoughtful.

Listen to him when he speaks. Even if what he says is awful.

To the one who loves him next, he might suddenly turn cold.

He’ll disappear for a while. I still can’t tell you where he goes.

But return, he will. With no explanation as why.

He’s difficult to figure out. Do not be angry if you try.

To the one who loves him next, while asleep, he will kiss.

Your hand. Your back. Your neck. Your lips.

To the one who loves him next, he misses his mother.

It hurts too bad to talk about, so he’ll change the subject to another.

To the one who loves him next, he bears no weight of faith.

But sometimes, if you listen, I think at night, he prays.

To the one who loves him next, you will become his home.

At times, you will be a palace. At others, a haunted shack with ghostly moans.

And if he leaves, or if you leave, whatever be the cause..

You’ll be reminded by your grief of guilt of all of which you lost.

And you will masquerade as someone who is not a wreck..

..as you shake to give advice to the one who loves him next.

So to the one who loves him next, this is all I ask:

Know that you love him now, but I loved him first.

And I will love him last.

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