(About a 2 minute read)
You were all of sixteen and uncommonly
Beautiful the year we met at the coffee shop.
Seems like you stood there for fifteen
Minutes grinning at me before your brother
Mostly I remember how friendly you were
From the start, that you held yourself
Erect like a fighter, and had a light tan.
Nothing uncommon about you except
Your beauty could have knock down
An eagle from the sky,
Or raised one up to soar.
A year later we were hanging out
Daily at the shop, and all the boys
Would come by who knew me,
To sit with me to sit with you.
How many dreams did you share
With me back then before noon?
How many garage sales did we surf
By dinnertime each day?
How many times did you insist
We tango down the sidewalk
To the end of the block and back?
How many cartwheels did you turn
In the rain for me that summer?
How many times did we tell people
That you and I were “just friends”?
One Christmas you came by my work
With mistletoe from Black Forest
To hang above our heads
So we had an excuse to kiss in public.
Old and young, we needed an excuse
I recall we kissed a dozen times.
The night you came to my place —
Seems strange now
You’d never been over before —
We shared a few beers,
You sat cross-legged on the carpet,
Your skirt up revealing no panties,
And I sat in my kitchen chair.
I rose up towards midnight
I needed to pee. You sprang
From the floor taking me
Full in your arms. “Paul, I love you!
I always have. I always have loved you,
But when I returned from the bathroom,
You were gone.
It was never the same afterwards
I never figured out at all
What had gone or was going
Through your head.
I hear from your brother
You’re doing well these days
Up North with your own practice.
I wish you no less than a good life,
And better loves than we had.