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
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.
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
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.