vega and altair


a caramel macchiato with too much ice on top
espresso bleeding into milk and sugary syrup
humidity coating the plastic cup with condensation
a misspelled name that belongs to someone else slipping through your fingers
the green straw too long even for a medium cup
this is our first kiss though he will never know it


cartwheels in dry summer grass
barely clinging to dusty soil
it didn't snow enough this year
so there's not enough water left in the soil
is what my chemistry teacher told me

pink lashes left in your palms
from pressing down on prickly blades of crabgrass
the soil settles in the creases on your fingers
our last moment before we both let go


he closes his eyes
with his long lashes and big glasses
he looks like a little boy who grew up too fast
and is tired of playing dress up in his father's clothes
the bus wheezes merrily along
gently bumping our shoulders together
i close my eyes and pretend
that we're dreaming of dipping our fingers in the same galaxies
and the sun finally gets to meet the moon


a black blazer over a white shirt
if you lean in closely
you'll see the tiny black dots on it

constellations like vega, altair, deneb
and if you ask him what took him so long
he'll tell you it was the suspenders
as he squirms, trying to adjust their length
the first night we met i stumbled over my words
but he understood anyway
and then we laughed like we had been doing it for years
this is what i want him to remember


in twenty years
i may not remember his face except when i look at the photos
i may not even remember his name

but I will remember that he doesn't eat tomatoes
that he smiles like there's no tomorrow
that his favorite color is red
that he still has to look at the keyboard when he types
that he is the type of boy who will mix every drink from the soda fountain and try to drink it
just for fun
i will remember all of these things
because he was the first
but i never told him


i haven't seen him since
he doesn't reply to my emails or pick up the phone
i know it's not meant to be like in the books
where every story ends the same way
with dawn bathing the world in blush and saffron
and mist curling over the dew-soaked grass
with mr. darcy and a kiss by a crackling fire
we refuse to be reduced to a romance novel read under the covers in the middle of the night
instead, we will cross the milky way on a bridge of magpies
if only to just catch a glimpse of each other


it's lonely sometimes
without him here
but I know that it's time to let him go
to stop trying to write bad poetry about him
(i wrote a lot of bad poetry about him)
to stop racking my brain for the little details to fill in the cracks
and just let our memories be


he doesn't believe in multiple lives
but in each of my lives after this one
i want to find him again
and tell him that he broke my heart in my last life  
and make him promise to do it again
if not in this life
then in the next


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