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 mirrored

and just what I’d imagined

when I’d imagined England.

We smile just the same as before, me open and tilting, and you

quietly composed.

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?

You won’t,

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.

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