There was nothing funny about the way
you took my words so seriously.
Traveling at 90 miles an hour,
to meet me at a wooden bench
on a cobblestone street,
only to eat the worst
gourmet macaroni and cheese
either of us had tasted in our lives.
We should have ordered the fettuccine,
I’ve heard great things about their white sauce.
We held hands while you balanced your bike
with your left hand. I don’t even know
why you brought that thing,
you knew you’d just be walking
by my side the entire night.
Unless I could sit on your handlebars,
but New York is no place to try that
for the first time.
Too many manholes,
too many men.
I listened to you complain about your girl,
while I idly remembered the argument I last had with a boy.
It was recent enough to still be able to picture
the weight of tears in each of his eyelids,
but not important enough to care why he was crying.
Why would anyone feel the need
to show me a softer side?
“I wish she would just have enough self esteem
to act like a normal person.”
But don’t we all.
We turned the corner and the summer ended,
and we traveled south trying to beat the cold,
but it caught up with us anyway.
Gloves covered the fingers that used
to trace the skin over your knuckles,
scarves covered the neck that welcomed
the warmth of your mouth.
Layers of sweaters and coats
covered the body that I never let you touch,
except when we were too cold
to sleep alone.
Except when we were too tired to say no.