The first and last time I saw you you were sitting underneath a streetlight in a cargo jacket with a hat over your eyes, reading a book about geology with your legs folded criss-cross-apple-sauce in front of you, and when you started to smile into the page all I wanted to do was make love to you. Or, buy you coffee. I still can’t tell. On Broadway in Manhattan, no one ever stops to sit and read. No one ever stops to say hello to the florist who needs it the most when the sky is as gray as it has been these days. Everyone’s heading somewhere instead of always being at the place they wanted to get at, but you, you were sitting like a still-shot in time, with your elbows rested on your knees and a scarf looped over your neck twice and three times and enough for me to fall in love. There was a sign in front of you asking for money to make a phone call but it had fallen to the side and no one could read it but you didn’t mind because you were laughing about tectonic plates or lava rock or thinking about the first time you kissed a mountain on the lips. Around you the world pulsed. Cars shuddered. A woman with braids in her hair walked past, crying. Plates were shifting somewhere in California. Nothing had changed except you were sitting there underneath a streetlight, in a cargo jacket with a hat over your eyes, reading a book about geology. And my heart spluttered when it saw you and my hands shook when I reached into my purse to get the last two dollars that I had this week, and when you looked up at me a volcano erupted and covered m cheeks in a landslide of red. I asked you what book you were reading and I didn’t know how the words formed. Your hair was the color of the sand dunes in Nevada. Your eyes were springs that a girl would get naked and swim in in broad daylight. I asked you where you were going and you said nowhere, really and I thought that was the most beautiful thing in the world. Nowhere, really. I’m going nowhere but here. I wanted to ask you where you came from, where your home was, what kind of rocks you loved the most, but all I could say was “I hope you find whatever you’re looking for” and walk away penniless and smiling. The first and last time I saw you you were sitting like a small gap in the middle of an ocean. You were there and you were home. You were home wherever your skin wanted to be. I wanted to tell you were going to have a hundred poems written about you. You’re a walking poem. You could rearrange continents with that smile of yours. I hope you find this somehow. I hope this verse runs its fingers through your hair while you lay in its lap. I hope it tells you all about the summer rain and how its first kiss felt like mist rising over the roads post-storm. And I hope you kiss it on the mouth with your eyes closed and think about your Argentina, about the woman who you see when you think of every country you’ve ever made love in, and how you stood at the edge of the world with a beautiful girl beside you, and how you never thought that you would spend the rest of your life looking for that same feeling in a hundred different ways.
Mount Rainier, Washington
In the middle of the night, I may watch you go. There’ll be no value in the strength of walls that I have grown. There’ll be no comfort in the shade of the shadows thrown but I’d be yours if you’d be mine.
Street Art by JPS
MY BIGGIE SMALLAHAHAHDKEIFK