Apology

I didn’t mean to say so much to you.
I should have thought to let the evening end
by looking at the stars subdued

into their antique blue and alabaster hues.
Such looking would have fit with my intent.
I didn’t mean to speak that way to you.

If I could take it back, I’d take it, undo
it, and replace it with the things I meant
to give — not what I let slip (it’s true)

like any pristine star of ornamental hue.
I do not always do what I intend.
I didn’t mean to say so much to you.

It slipped before I saw, before I knew.
Or do we always do what we intend?
Perhaps it’s true and all along I knew

what I was saying — but how I wanted you.
I should have thought to let the evening end. 
The placid stars seemed filled and then subdued
by what I did and did not want to do.

Mary Szybist, “Apology” from Granted.  Copyright©2003 by Mary Szybist.  Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Alice James Books, www.alicejamesbooks.org