Far Thee Well, My First Love (Unrequited)

I knew you when you were good

When you walked with me down

that long dirt road next to the bay.

I knew you when your hair was shorter;

I like it long but you wear it like a wig.

Do you like it long?

I knew you when we were willing

When we were washing ourselves of the sin we inadvertently committed.

As we cleansed ourselves

You could never reach that spot on your back where

There was a scar you made in 3rd grade.

I remember you never asked me to find it for you

But you asked me to

Hide it for you to

Describe it for you to

Feel it for you, so that you didn’t have to think about tears long-dried

and laughter never lived and hands

almost broken.

There was a time when we rode between car doors

And we followed the street lights until they were

replaced by salty rocks by a salty ocean.

When the engine stopped humming and

the music stopped playing,

you said “I don’t much care for stars.”

And I gasped into the glassy window,

not out of surprise,

But because I knew you wanted me to —

And because I gazed at you with those stars in my eyes.

I think I know that you knew me well

You’ve squeezed my shoulder and lit my joint

And you’ve given me blankets that are heavy.

I think I know that you knew that I loved you.

It wasn’t love like everyone else’s because you were

Too beautiful to exist in the shadow of a hope,

but I came close that day we went to the carnival.

I almost said something.

Anything.

To let you know that I wanted more from you,

but then the tilt-a-whirl was too fast

and you had to go home.

We were never together how I wanted,

You loved other people (you lusted other people)

But I could still speak thoughts onto your arms and you

Wouldn’t swipe them away,

You would kiss them and let them dissolve with time,

After I had whispered them enough to

recover.

Did you know you? I don’t ask to be a challenge

For you to walk away from like a weary soldier

But I know you’re starting to walk anyway,

and I’ve always indulged you.

Babe, you know I’ve always indulged you.

You would answer me but

A car is outside and honking like little birds

And your bags are heavy under your eyes

And your skin is itching away its gold

And a pair of ballet slippers are waiting for your sneakers

And I’m rambling like a dodge.

And you’ll talk to me later, okay?

And you walk out the door.

And I say, okay.

Okay.