Poetry

Crossing Paths

I know you are nearby,
mere miles away,
close enough that I wonder when
our paths will cross
again.

I saw you once
in your car
at a stoplight.

Did you notice
me?

Did you see me and,
taken aback like you saw a ghost,
do a double take or
stare or
let the light change while you paused
to see which way I’d turn?

No.

I watched you drive by, unaware.
I wonder when
if
when
if
we’ll see each other
again.
At the grocery store, or in a parking lot, or at a gas station
and make awkward conversation
for a minute
before going our separate ways
again.

Is it just better
to not see you?

You’ve changed,
but in my head we’re
still twenty-five and
still in love.
As long as you stay there
you can still be the soundtrack
of my awakening,
the lyrics
that ebb, bittersweet
with longing
for something real.

You’ve changed
since then, you must have.

But parts of you are just as I remember.

And maybe it’s better
that way.

Why would we risk
rediscovering one another
only to find the reality
less fulfilling
than the memory
(whose sting has faded
to leave

a glowing ember of tenderness)?