Yesterday you floated back through me, easily, like walking backwards uphill. Not being able to see where you’re going really takes the strain off of your legs.
Your face is the same (pink lipped freckled) underneath someone else’s new beard. You are just as unkempt as before but now it is calculated- unshaved hair orchestrated.
I remember the first time that I thought you were beautiful, driving your car in Capitola under big steel bridges while listening to your favorite band, half-soaked in summertime sweat and thighs stuck to the seats.
I remember the way your face scrunches when you laugh, how it hit me hard and pulled me under. I remember how strong the tide was that dragged me in, closer to you.
Yesterday your face broke my shore the same way (crushed me like sea salt) but we were on some roof, and not in Capitola- nowhere near the ocean, in fact. I couldn’t touch your face. I didn’t need to. There is nothing left in my fingers with your name attached; my prints wouldn’t register on your skin because the sun is too bright now and the paint has faded red to pink; dark to pale.
(you have gotten so pale)
San Francisco clouds overhead instead of bridges and thoughts of me.
So yesterday I am just past leaving six months of wondering what her voice sounds like when I see you in that coffee shop.
Our old bench outside, the one where we used to drink pots of tea, Ellie smoking in the rain. How do I catch you up when we’re so used to running at different paces? Our voices tangle together, straining against throats, a balancing act of missing each other without allowing ourselves the clarity of acknowledging it.
You tell me that I haven’t changed. That I cut off my hair and my eyes have gotten weaker but you can still see the me from two summers ago. I wonder objectively if the way you look right through me means that you want to time travel. It wouldn’t change anything.
We’re on the roof both cross-legged and it’s noon. The sun is directly above us, making the air too warm, but you just squint your eyes. I don’t offer to share the shade.