After Thoughts
The Poetry of J. Hodges


memories of the girls, the women that I’ve loved
not ones that lasted weeks or days or an hour
but ones whose lives I’ve touched
whose memories, but a shadow,
haunt me with their smile, especially
their laughter, their trust
and lust, those too

where are they now
who do they love
my hopes, a better man
a better man than I

memories, warm and mysterious,
intoxicating and full
above all, spirit-filled and lasting
somewhere out there, still

their touch, a pleasure
the love I felt and feel,
undeniably for real
to wish they knew me now
to know that I am better
less handsome, more appealing
debonair or so I thought
doesn’t matter anymore

these lives, these angels
appearing in my path
along the way, in my youth
in my unknowing and my haste
to discard, a waste
companions, the best
each, true loves
abandoned for myself or another
but never for them


until the moment
this moment
the moment I realize
I am alone