Returning the Ring

Here’s love, she says, her hand outstretched and cupped.
Regret has pushed my chin upon my chest.
Her hand begins to shake, to interrupt
my reverie of guilt still un-confessed.
It’s yours, she says in syllables of fear
concealed in words of certainty and trust,
then sheds her aspirations with a tear,
a second one for me, a third for us.
She sits to give my silence room to stand,
as heavy as the crushing of a wave,
still cupped and still outstretched I see her hand
too small, too late, too justified to save
my soul. My soul is now completely sold
for wax and string instead of polished gold.

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