I walk out of this old brick building I have come to know
Into an evening with a flirtatious touch of chill.
And this sky, with the perfect pitch of settled sun
Hosts gray-blue clouds that I must have met once
This is the type of evening I would fall in love with,
If I was the type to fall in love.
These tiny windows of light, in this city’s silly version of a skyscraper
Attempt to compete with a moon leagues above
A stretch of freeway, running parallel to my wistful confusion
Makes us feel more urban than we are.
And that’s what romance is, right?
Molding and shaping a perspective
In pursuit of beauty
In the name of creation
The original manipulation.
Everything in this view as I walk out tonight feels like it has a propensity for romance.
With a feigned certainty I proclaim, “I knew that once. I’ve felt that before.”
It’s like dream details I cannot recall
A word on the tip of my tongue
A smell that transports me back to blur.
What is this thing I knew once? “Please,” I now beg, “Tell me more.”
An ache has replaced what I imagine felt once wholly fulfilled.
A yearning introduces itself as my new accompaniment.
I reach for it deeper, focus on it harder.
Trying and failing, the further it slips.
This path is not that path, and that becomes obvious.
What must have been
Today, the Bridge Street Market stocked all of the exotic fruits into one grand display.
It’s safe to say
I took it personally.
Surely they know your affinity for fruits of foreign lands.
Like the one that aged in the back of your fridge. Always waved hi as I grabbed most likely cheese, olives, or bread.
Met this one on your grocery bucket list. Certainly made a joke about naming our child after it.
You’d prepare it at the counter while I’d play it on the speaker. Always said we were more alike than different.
If you were here, you’d tell me it reminds you of my hair.
You were never wrong.
Maybe if I get a job tending to this exotic fruit display, I’ll befriend my own decomposing rinds of love, finding bits and pits of peace.
And maybe I’ll eventually meet you browsing. I’ll know just how full circle we’ve come.
“It started at a juice bar, after all”, I inconsiderately begin to tell my new fruit friends.
Alternatively, you’ll roll your cart right past me and these overrated pink pineapples.
You see, I’m still not sure if it was romance or authenticity that called your name louder.
But then again, maybe it’s not fair to compare apples to blood oranges.
Maybe it didn’t have to be one or the other.
Today I called out your name from the kitchen.
There was this blissful moment in between seconds- before the inevitable silence reminding me that you are not here dropped heavily in the air, and my stomach followed suit.
I call your name to an empty room because you always encouraged me to bring back my childhood imagination. I’ll start by playing pretend this morning.
To hear your name said aloud feels like when chocolate and peanut butter melt together on an unplanned staying in Saturday evening. Or a hurried Monday morning in the comfort of knowing on the other side of the wall you too are rushing to head off to somewhere mundane. Our motivation, knowing we would rather adventure together. Or apart.
The tea kettle chirps at me, shortly after I ask the idea of you if you’d like oat milk with your Earl Grey.
I’ll take a chirp as a sign, any time.
And while I know the answer will always be yes to anything that turns your tea the hue of my skin, I never miss an opportunity to be reminded of your presence.
“Yes, love. And agave please.”
Me answers to me.
I assign this moment the unique honor of my 11,345th fantasy.
The altitude atop my pedestal of adoration
causes expectation-induced suffocation.
I’ve been no better than the man flattening the forest.
Her wind, it turns out, is not for me to harness.
In the eyes of the beholder,
Beauty is contained, then reduced to a smolder.
Praise corrals and cheapens, rather silently notice.
None of it is for me, I have come to know this.
To be called a muse was the most visceral insult she had received.
Because a muse is not real, a muse is merely perceived.
To be seen wholly, not holy, was all she ever asked.
The time for her to ask
has come, has stayed, has mercifully passed.
And irrelevance has never felt so significant.
With an unquenchable thirst for romance, Sam writes from the perspective of having been loved and having been lost, with humble recognition that the origin of both is one in the same.