sometimes i still
(i've never seen your eyes
in the light of the same
felt your skin warm underneath
the same sun, look at it glitter
under the moon)
and sometimes i still wonder
how are you doing?
do you have someone you love,
someone who makes love to you like
an unbroken human being?
(do you still remember
the way you spoke so soft to me
late at night?
or how your text on late-night messages
on the dimly-lit comptuer screen
held hope and promise and something
good for me?
do you remember how i told you
i longed for you, your voice
lingered in my ears late at night?
my body yearned for you in
those days, stranger.
my body felt new and wanted and strong and lithe
it felt untouched by time and the ravages of abuse.
my scars were still settling in
and i don't remember where we went wrong.)
maybe it was our ages
maybe it was our guilt
maybe it was our lives
(i still write poetry of you from time to time
and i keep your username in a list full of
people that haven't logged on in a long time.
you're one of those people.
stranger, you left me in the dust.
you left me stuck in the metra,
waiting for a train that will never come.)
stranger, did you ever predict
this would happen?
(since you have been gone i have
graduated high school, college and i am starting on
a third degree.
i think i overcompensate so that i don't have to think.
i have been touched by strangers that are too strange, i have
been in therapy for the last two years.
i grew plants and nurtured them and then
my father ripped them from the earth, ripped my memories
from the earth and we moved to the deep south.
my eyes burned when we passed through
i remember when you would take pictures of southern sunrises
and your dog and your nephew.
my dog is dead. he died of seizures.
my brother is going into the sciences.
my mother is divorcing my father, and i am not sure
what to think of it.
i am still devastated by the deaths in my family.
some days, i wonder what it is like to believe again
in some greater good.
i have been marred since you last knew me, stranger.
by hands that are too cruel, by the minds that have flayed my
mentality raw, by this cold weather that has worn my skin
i think of you telling me to buy cocoa butter.
i cannot stand the smell or the feel of it, its waxiness
reminding me too much of you,
or what i feel you would have felt like.
cloying, sweet, soft, absorbing fast into my skin.
leaving me aching for more.)
and so . . .
(much like a long summer day, you ended
and my winter of discontent has stayed for so long
i don't know remember what warmth was.
i still get too cold.
i wrap myself in woolen blankets and lay down and take
hot baths, wishing that the warmth would come back.
i pray for the hotness of the south, and when
i passed through tennessee those last few times, i thought
of you and your promise of a hot southern breakfast.
i'm not hungry for food, i'm starving for you.
i feel fragments of that warmth in other people,
i feel it most in the person i have fallen in love with
but stranger, it hurts to think maybe he will leave, too.
this is a growing collection of all the things i wish
i could tell you but
you're no longer there and i am just always here.)
stranger, i waited for you.
i wish you had stayed.
sometimes i still