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Gila River Review
Jennifer Provencher-Neuberg

Just a Friend

In case you didn’t notice

I am a girl

Somewhere between Wapatki and Prescott

Someplace near Stone and Ash

You stopped seeing me as a woman

And started seeing me as

Just a friend


And at first I didn’t mind

Because I was sick unto death with unsolicited suitors

And vulgar propositions

I was tired of married men who wanted to worship my sacred flame

While they left their home hearths neglected

I was tired of alcoholics who saw in me the elixir

That would quench their thirst


Always in the back of my mind

I would think to myself

He truly loves me for who I am

Not as a bandage to staunch the bleeding of his soul

He would treat me as I deserve

Not as his panacea, his convenient catalyst

He sees the reflection of my beauty

Shimmering on the mirror of my soul

Not in the shape of my ass, the swell of my breasts



I would think to myself

When I am grown weary of chasing phantoms and feeding vampires


When the charm of flirtation pales and I’m tired of saving lost souls


I will go to him and he will love me as I am meant to be loved

And somewhere between individuation and growth

Someplace near maturity and fulfillment

I will find peace and acceptance

And I will know God


But someday came and you were gone

Leaving in your place

The mild warmth of agape

And the hollow echoes of my dreams

The shattered remnants of happily ever after

Crushed under foot

While I danced irresponsibly with strangers


Somewhere between my divorce and the pilot

Someplace near Jerome and Sedona

You stopped seeing me as a woman

And you started seeing me as

Just a friend

Jennifer Provencher-Neuberg is a writer masquerading as the Science Division Secretary at CGCC. 

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2626 East Pecos Road, Chandler, Arizona 85225-2499
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