Morningbirds mocked the man as he descended
the apartment stairs after the night’s goodbye.
His footsteps drug with the weight of his eyelids
and echoed down the hallways with his questions.
Why did he make the choices he made?
What was the point of all he had done?
He bought her drinks, drove her home,
stopped for food and an errand at the store,
tacking more hours on to and already taxing day
and didn’t even get so much as a goodnight hug!

Except he already knew the answers to these questions.
They were just buried in the exhaustion and unfulfilled longing
because even the good guys can have human moments.
No, he was wise, knowing where her heart was at,
knowing he couldn’t expect anything;
kindness for the sake of reciprocation is misunderstanding love.
Someday, he may get that chance to ask for more, maybe not,
but the good night’s rest he was headed for
would kill the sting of loneliness.
He would wake up refreshed
knowing he had done a good thing.