This medicine chokes out my appetite
wraps up my work,
is meant to grow me up.
But at the bus, I saw you at your window
and danced around your building in defiance,
walked back to mine for headphones and a charger
and missed the bus again, the bluff called out-
Heeled feet take charge, they brace against the pavement,
arms in agreement, pushing toward the heat
at last. Anointed by the melted snow,
or dripping sleet, and crowned by multicolored lights from trees
The view in the periphery condenses
a swirl of beaded blurs, creeping toward edges-
"Long time no see,"
Nose numb and somehow running
I couldn't look your way;
instead, the girl in front
looks like a pretty me
I grin or grimace.
Choose my seat, the farthest edge still near you
and can't- and won't contain my shameful joy.
Sh*t eating grin at false old friends, the menu,
patrons, the familiar cooking show,
the tiles behind your head,
This pretty girl
wiping her nose-
I'm glad I wore this jacket.
Smiling with teeth, I manage stupid questions
and save your answers, indigo eruptions,
all aimed at me;
I choose to look, preserving
the freezing and familiar edge that frames you.
And you must see me watch; I see you murmur
Afterthoughts I hear but can't distinguish.
Won't say much else -
I've packed my food and paid and
Held the corner of your view throughout.
You've said you meditate; wish I could tell you
How noticing your shadow from the edges
blue as your gaze, electric like this silence
is closer than I've ever been to practice.
Your "see you" comes with distance I can't echo;
I say it back, abated on the surface
and board the bus, at once affirmed and doubtful
and on aching feet, I choke back what you made me