long walks from columbus circle to herald square. two cups of coffee a day. text messages. “MUST update you. very good meeting.” of course, of course. friendship with that much urgency. rambled email messages that say more than the words i write and to know i’m heard. dinner with my brother. shared quiet moments at the end of charged-sparked ride. songs on repeat. hooded sweatshirts that smell like dryer sheets. requesting hugs. used novels on amazon. hot lattes. writing.
redundant complaints up and down the sidewalks. stomping. un-dried hair, medusa default. a bedroom without a light. contradictory instructions. heavy responsibility without any authority. two-thirty am work sessions. trying not to wait for the phone to ring. incomplete assignments - mine. six years of coursework. mistaking frustration for stress. loneliness. the way she looks at him. unpacked bags. unpacked boxes. unpacked emotions. anticipating a subway cry.
the lake. even on a rainy evening. his courage. her church whispers. when they both say “...didn’t burst into flames.” honesty. kindness. watching us (us, us, us) eat in the college dining hall more than ten years later. four hours of tears. red autumn leaves. realizing i already let it all go. for the better. unintentionally making him laugh so hard water comes out his nose. “what are you thinking?” in a quiet that matches my quiet. to be known, in a moment, in a decade, in a single glance, in an old, familiar squeeze of the hand. i am here.