Painfully So

He was a piece of me
A beautifully flawed, crystalline thing
With sharp edges and a clarity so penetrating it was painful,
Painfully so.

And I loved him fiercely
Yet held him the way one holds a burr
As lightly as possible
For the pricks of his facade could injure,
Painfully so.

And now that he is gone
And the memories have softened
The sharpness that was his shell supplanted by the beauty and warmth of his soul
The cruelty of his tongue seen as a makeshift defense
Protecting a heart so soft it bled rivers at the slightest of slights
Too fragile for the ordinary pain of an ordinary life
How the missing of him pains me,
Painfully so.

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