You are laughing, lips stretched, plump cheeks
defining the curves of your mouth;
your pale blue eyes bashful and glinting.
You are crying, knees akimbo,
leaning against a building; your face swollen and red,
displaying a grief I could not halt
no matter what I said or did.
You are smoking a cigarette you do not want,
trying to think of something to say.
You are taking a picture with your phone.
You are filtering water from a mountain stream
that I would likely drink unfiltered; so cold
on that mild December day on the trail.
You are dancing with me; we hold each other closely.
You are dancing with someone else,
hands and fingers bent and wiggling
in a charming and naive way.
You are telling me to sit down next to you
when we were stopped by police officers;
I was trying to get you back to your room
so I could lay you down in your bed,
kiss you goodnight, go home and sleep well,
knowing you were safely home for the night;
you had drank too much that night
and your mind was full of desperate
and justifiable sorrow.
You are walking in lovely hiking boots
that stick out like a sore thumb
in juxtaposition to your jean shorts
and leggings and baggy tan sweater.
You are drawing, writing, reading,
because you are bored or you are with others
doing the same.
You are considering the menu
at a restaurant, biting your upper lip,
eyes down on the entrees on the page.
You are rolling your eyes at the things I am saying.
You are kissing my cheek as I talk to a friend.
You are ignoring me, though I am desperate
for your attention;
I would never say it, but I certainly wanted it.
You are choosing the song
you would like to hear on the jukebox.
You are watching a movie you love;
your facial expression changing
for a sad scene coming up
that you love and remember.
You are looking up at me, sitting
on the ground, on the wood floor
of the second story apartment
in a run down Victorian house on Ninth street,
at the party on the night I first laid eyes on you:
I feel, at least a little, the same way
I did when I first saw you,
every time I see you again.
You are saying goodbye again
at six in the morning; the sun is not yet
above the horizon.
Your eyes are sleepy and you are wearing
the shorts and loose tank top you wear as pajamas.
You are hugging me and I am squeezing you firmly,
holding onto you for as long as I could bear,
until I finally know I have to let go again.
You are walking towards me.
I see you, walk up to you, and pick you up
with my arms embraced under yours
and I spin you around in circles;
your legs are elevated from the ground
and stretched out by concentric velocity;
your leather boots the tips of a pinwheel
whirling around and around.
You are in my presence,
but most of the time you are somewhere else.
Aaron C. Molden