Please Come Late

Please come late,
so that I have almost given you up
and have started glancing round the room,
thinking everyone is you.
Please don’t come
until I have started missing you,
thinking I will never see you again,
praying you are lost.
Come too late for me not to notice.
Make me suffer,
wondering what you are doing
on the other side of town,
still in your dressing gown.
Make me beg for mercy
when you pick up a magazine.

Are you looking in your mirror,
suddenly remembering me?
I’m on my second coffee by now,
eating the little bits of sugar in my cup.
Haven’t you set out yet?
I decide I don’t want to see you after all.
I don’t really like you.
I’d rather be on my own.
I know it is all over between us

but I go on sitting here,
reading a newspaper,
not understanding a word.
If you came in now, I wouldn’t recognize you.
Don’t come anywhere near me
until I have gone slightly mad for love of you.

— Hugo Williams