to henry, love elana:
i miss you because i know the most action you’re getting these days is slipping an extra big tip into the delivery girl(who forgot the napkins again)’s hands, and i know her hands feel nothing like mine. so i’m sorry because we always had eggplant pizza together which everyone else thought was strange, because i miss you, because sometimes – i hint at you to our delivery girl so she’ll tell me how you’re doing (i hear you have the flu, drink some fluids other than dr. pepper, okay?).
To Elana, Love Henry:
I feel guilty for the time I asked our delivery girl if you were still ordering from our place. I miss you because I give her a bigger tip than usual now and sometimes I get pizza even if I’m not in the mood, just to hear from her that you had bags under your eyes tonight or your cousin got her acceptance letter from Barnard (Congratulations to her, by the way). The eggplant isn’t as satisfying as it used to be, so I turn the TV on. It helps drown out the quiet.
december rain is nothing if not sad.
it leaves tracks in the snow everywhere,
blanket gray sky and
little gray footsteps
the same way people
the first air of summer.
I remember summers ago with a boy, who wasn’t so sweet but could read aloud like a gypsy and read your hand lines like a priest. I’d kick off my shoes and we’d spread a huge blue sun-bleached towel on the sand and prop up a chair. The metal grew hot in the sun. I remember a cooler full of Coke cans and plastic cartons of strawberries; we lived off those for days at a time (along with the occasional Hot Pocket) because we were too lazy to bike out to town, and it was too hot to leave the wooden floorboards and ice towels of our house. The windows let in the evening lights from a few miles away and the distant sounds of Spanish street guitarists. Sometimes we clambered up on the roof to hear them better, and you memorized one of the songs they’d play every night, spinning out a rough version on your guitar. But you couldn’t pronounce the words as well.
When we went out on the beach, you hated the waves so you stayed high from shore while I waded out until the water reached my belly, feeling the coolness seep through my shirt and the sand riffle between my toes. I’d always wanted you to join me. I wish you didn’t hate the waves, but you did so I just stood there alone, taking in salt from the breeze and the laughter of two sisters dragging buckets of water they could barely carry from the ocean to their sand castle. Again and again they came and went so that they could fill up the moat, because you couldn't have invaders from the next kingdom over to be able to kidnap the princess so easily.
not sure about the last paragraph. feedback? :)
you asked what I thought of you
Bewildered, I examined the cross-shaped birthmark on your arm (you were agnostic)
scuffed sneakers and your eyes
the new old ones I liked: you had gotten rid of the blue contacts two months ago,
a week after we met.
mouth open, I searched for a word and couldn’t believe how hard it was
smiling and I closed my lips, you seemed confused, did that little
I took your hand as the subway doors opened onto 66th St and dragged you into the city.
we ran up the stairs, his hand was warm like the cigarette night air
I’ll show him what I think of him
we ate burgers from Sonic on the lit-up street corner;
he spilled mayo down his shirt and we threw lettuce and laughter at each other.
revised version of "Throwing Lettuce." it's a lot different so I thought I'd post it again. hope you enjoy :)
She used to read me poems she’d made out of glass and soft wool, and I’d always fall asleep to her lilting words. A ring sat on the 3rd finger of her left hand, a pair of kissing silver fish. She twisted it when she was nervous, and when I looked at her for too long.
Although I am sure she often looked at me for longer.
Some days I almost forget her name, and it makes me sad. So I wrote it down on a slip of paper and now keep it in my pocket, for that insane fear of letting her go entirely. Clementine; she was beautiful. One detail I remember clearest was she only had one freckle in her entire life. It sat just underneath her left cheekbone, and she liked it because I did.
I am trying to make you happy because I love you
and I don’t have fudge bars, your favorite
and I killed your fish because I forgot to change its water;
it was almost dead when you gave him to me anyway
but it was an accident
I’m sorry your stupid guppy died, it was his own fault.