D. B. DEVILLIERS

Poetry

Tag: regret

On the Instructive Properties of Regret w/r/t Becoming Less of a Douchebag

Very often you don’t get to apologize for
the things you regret the most
often times you never get to make
the apologies you’d most like to make
but at least take solace in knowing
it wouldn’t do any good anyway
these apologies only make the person making them feel better
very often the best you can do is to
try as hard as you can not to make
the same mistake again
try as hard as you can next time around to
not do so much harm
and if you can’t do that then you’ve got to make sure that
there is no next time
because what’s done is done and some things
there’s no fixing
not even close
but maybe the one way to bring some good out of it
and keep in mind this can take a very long time
is to reflect
and regret
and thereby try really goddamn hard to make sure that next time around
you aren’t such an irredeemable son of a bitch.

I Do Wish

I wish I had held myself together.
I wish I’d done better,
done more, been better.
Wished I could try,
now wishing I had.
Sure wish I’d spent less time
trying to wish away the bad.
I might’ve been something
had I been anything
to begin with,
but if there’s a God
his concerns are more
important
than I am.
He didn’t stack chips
upon any
of my plans
and I don’t blame him—
he’d have lost them.
I wouldn’t have placed
that bet
either.
God doesn’t, can’t help those
who help themselves
to repeated glasses of
bourbon and gin
and out from open windows, shout
slurred shouts, swearing skyward, said

“Well, goddamn! I never once wished for this!”

Kingdom of Ruin

I was a city surrounded
by colossal walls of
stone and masonry,
impervious to attack,
built when battles past
left me crumbling
but then,
you appeared on the horizon
and approached my gates
and I couldn’t turn you away.

I didn’t understand
the mistake I’d made
until I was burnt down,
when my city had already been
razed to the ground,
and you passed by the gates
never to return
again.

What remains of me
wanders these ashes,
the flames long faded,
the ruin gone cold
and I long for you.
The walls still stand
blackened but intact
defending my domain
from an enemy who’ll never again
attack.

As days become years,
I’ve come to realize
a hard, bitter truth
that I hide with false pride:
if you appeared at my gates
ever again
I’d raise them for you
and welcome you inside
to my kingdom of ruin
my dominion of dust.

I wrote this one maybe a year ago about a particularly nasty breakup. Those emotions have by now mostly faded into oblivion, of course, but I still enjoy the poem quite a lot.