It’s not the perfect photo,
this latest of you and me.
The light is bad, grainy and too-dark, but
the pub was small
and just what I’d imagined
when I’d imagined England.
We smile just the same as before, me open and tilting, and you
Looking, no one would know
six months had separated us
and an ocean of noise.
_(i love you i miss you i love you i miss you i love you)_
Except my hair’s a little longer, and
the space between us is bumping and brushing
where our shoulders brushed before.
I was a little drunk at that house
the night we met.
Later you said
That night we were pretending
culture for culture’s sake.
You called me Athena Aphrodite
and I laughed,
for the first time proud of my big hips small breasts, my Roman nose.
_(i would have left this place with you, if you’d asked)_
The albums were filled
with snapshots of your friends:
Sammy Jay smoking a cob pipe or
singing that one song, this is the first day of my life,
with Maria Paz Mendes
picking tunes on a guitar
and always grinning.
I’ve never met them, but in my mind, when Sammy split with Paz he was so broken.
How is his Italian girl?
Remember the day you rode around campus on that old green bike,
me perched on your handlebars with my knuckles gripping,
leaning against your shoulder ‘til my hair blew in your eyes?
because it’s a lie
that I made up,
a fragment of painted glass
that reflects the way my stomach still tightens
when I see your face on my camera.
You’d love it here now: we’re spreading blankets on the grass, like I’ve seen you do
in St. James Park.
Like I’ve seen you do in photographs.