talk to me
The city smells the same you know,
That really distinct smell of hot trash,
And smelling like it needs to rain, but hasn’t.
The highways move in the same swirls.
The buildings seem to be newer and there might to be more of them now.
I forgot that the heat stays around all day, and doesn’t take the hint to leave when the rest of the days guests are departing.
I forgot what it was to walk outside and have the shirt stick to your back. Instantly.
I forgot the colors people wear here, the pinks and blues that you don’t see near Seattle.
Mostly, I forgot how lonely this city is when you’re poor and cannot afford to go anywhere.
He picked me up from the airport,
Even though I had to change my flight time.
I wasn’t expecting to land,
I wasn’t expecting to make it on the plane.
I’d heard people say before it all feels like a dream,
But never felt it myself before,
Are these really my hands back in this city?
Are those really my shoes?
Did he really give me a hug?
And then leave me on my own?
Watching someone buckle or unbuckle their belt,
Clicks my brain into what-if’ing.
Even buttoning or unbuttoning their pants,
In the living room,
On the couch,
Checking the loops before walking out the door.
Draws my eye.
And my body.
So I stare, every time.
We’re getting drinks on Friday,
With people I haven’t seen since, was it Christmas before covid hit?
Dinner on Wednesday,
I’ve got a tour scheduled of one of those homes an architect owned and mosaic’d himself.
There’s concert tickets I’d like to buy,
And a trail I’d like to walk again.
And, oh, that one restaurant that survived the pandemic has their patio open.
I haven’t been able to work.
I tell myself this,
I tell myself that,
I calm myself down trying every trick my therapist knows.
And here I sit, in front of my computer, or book, or phone.
Unable to do anything.
Thinking through mud, moving through molasses.
Eavesdrop and people watch.
Those are your goals in the terminal.
You can try to read, or get something done,
But it never works,
You can’t even watch out the plane window.
Learn about what semi-conductor job the person in front of you does.
Be a nosy old lady for a few hours.
I didn’t feel anything when I saw you but confused,
And trying to figure out how to act.
What was I supposed to do.
Can I put my feet up on your seat.
Wait I have to call my mom.
And you haven’t even looked at me yet,
Except to knock my glasses off.
Was I supposed to respond to that?
And you telling me you had to go back to work.
You won’t still like me
By the time I get back,
You’ll have been on date three with the ice cream shop girl,
Who elbowed her coworkers about you,
And your huckleberry flavor I’m sure.
The girl who liked to hear about the history of the Idaho star garnet
Will have decided you’re the one for her.
And I’ll think about your curls from over here.
I take the 803 to get to your apartment,
It’s a five-minute walk,
Then I know how to get to you from there.
I’ve got the pass on my phone.
It’s planned in my head,
It’s just whether or not I can do it,
Get myself up from sitting when the time comes to start moving.
She talked to me the whole way there,
At 4:30 AM on the winding path from our town to the airport,
So nice of her to drive me,
And it was going to be her first time driving my car,
When she went back.
She talked to me about odds and bobs, her family and how smoky it was because of the fires.
I’m not sure if people don’t take her seriously,
Or if she flies under their radar or what.
She works so hard,
I’m just not sure if the sense, the common sense, the practical nature, whatever,
Is there to back her up.