Yesterday I looked up from the stained
sidewalk to see your reflection in Macy’s
downtown window, your red hooded wool
cape tightly closed at the neck, your long
brown hair peeking out. I spun around,
hoping to catch you, hoping you’d catch me.
I guess I didn’t turn quickly enough.
You were gone, replaced by a group of
tourists gawking and mumbling about
transient matters, not noticing the
bewildered man in their midst.
Crossing the Third Avenue bridge, I
saw you in a cab by yourself. You looked
into my eyes as you passed, then turned
away without a smile. Was that really you?
Tell me that wasn’t you turning away.
In the park I saw you helping a little
girl fly her kite higher and higher. I rushed
to say I was sorry; I touched a shoulder that
wasn’t yours. “I’m so sorry, I thought you
were someone else,” I effused as I backpedaled
with my head down.
Last night without thinking I cooked
grilled cheese just the way you liked,
chopping fresh basil into a pool of olive oil,
pressing it into the tomato slices before
rolling it in grated cheese. You would mash
it all up on the plate, and eat it with a fork
and hug yourself between each bite.
The leaves turned yellow and crimson
on the Jersey Shore last weekend. I went
down to spend a couple of days with
Audrey. Remember how she used to flirt
with me when the three of us were together?
You’d feign jealousy, knowing all the while
I never noticed anyone but you. She flirted
with me again. I quickly looked for you to
admonish me, but you weren’t there. Maybe
I flirted back.
The snow will fall soon. Audrey has
already asked me to go with her to Stowe.
We used to go there, you and I, for long
weekends. Sometimes we never made it to
the slopes to ski. In front of the fireplace,
you’d play your guitar, singing silly love
songs while I kissed your neck and rubbed
I lie awake at night remembering how
we’d fall asleep entangled in each other, our
legs twisting, arms roaming, fingers
exploring for the best place to rest. Our
breath and hearts synchronizing, tongues
darting in and out, licking the other’s face.
Always we tried to climb inside the other to
be safe, to be held, to be loved.
Some days go by and I have moments
when I don’t think about you, but they are so
very few. Where ever you are, I send my