Almost

skirt blowin in the wind

I. Jonathan

 

You get my cheesy jokes

You say exactly what I was just thinking

No need to explain my strange tangents on the state of the world’s affairs

Or how I woke up one morning and decided to chop off my hair

That I decided just last night that I was going to India solo

And maybe Tibet if I have time

And whenever we’re together they have to stifle our laughter

You recognize me the same way rare birds know each other

You feel to me like family

If you were to ask me straight I’d own up to it

Fantasizing about events that could never happen

My hands haven’t been looking so clean

But yours have that strong nobility; pristine

What I love about you is why we could never be

This is me not noticing your expressions

A vague little smile and an extra spark in your eyes

Every time you come close enough to look into mine

We are a quiet conversation lingering in the cold

We are a tinge of sadness every time one of us has to go

We are behaving well; doing what we are told

We are all potential and never any follow through

We are subtle insinuations with a touch of flirtation

We are a goodbye hug five seconds too long

 

II. Amir

 

You rounded the curves of the mountain

so intimately and with such speed that

my heart was racing

 

We went deep into the forest

then deep within ourselves

We undressed in rivers so clear

each pebble had a distinct color

We saw bears and leaping squirrels

made peace with spiders and hiked up inclines

 

I liked you the best when

you climbed down the waterfall

Some teenager needed to prove his salt

compared to you and followed you down

I sat on top of the waterfall

snapping photos of you with your phone

 

We were quiet together

staring up at the stars

we didn’t talk about us or tomorrow

or what life would be like back in Chicago

I said I thought I should be alone for a while

and you said that only right now mattered

 

We packed our things silently

as though we’d worked as a team forever

I was the morning’s joyful daughter

you were eyes wide open, night owl

 

I rounded the curves of the mountain

the way a man knows his way around a woman

the moment felt surreal and serene

Our minds both blank now focused on the green

of God’s leaves and the rich reds of the cliffs

we’d climbed and pass too soon.

 

III. Ismael

 

I wanted to show you

Every poem I’d ever written

I wanted to explore every freckle

On your body

I wanted to sit with you

In your ocean of sadness

Like a life raft

 

I wanted to make you dinner

Then make you laugh

I wanted to challenge you

Push you further into

Your own self-exploration

I wanted to support everything

You’ve ever wanted for yourself

I wanted you to meet me halfway

 

I still think of you

While clinging to “someday”

When we’re both grown

When we’re both settled

But nothing’s ever done

And nothing’s ever perfect

You still don’t deserve

All that I still want to give you

And I still don’t care

 

Does that make me a masochist?

 

IV. Phillip

 

I accidentally kissed you

I didn’t realize it really or intend to

You were slightly shocked and stuttering

Before changing the subject completely

I was all smiles with no expectations

 

I watch the way you move on stage

You are all open hips and an open heart

No inhibitions or false sense of self

Never met anyone with so much charm

It’s sudden and seductive in unexpected ways

 

There are many other women, I’m sure

Normally I’d care, but I don’t

I’m just here to say hello

A quiet confident curiosity

Share some space and time before I have to go

And that’s enough for now

 

V. You

 

The first in a series of future “to be continueds”

A neverending ellipse

Of yet unsaid sentences…

 

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