“I guess it’s the last of the dandelions this year.  Have you ever heard of rubbing it under your chin?  If it rubs off it means you’re in love.”
(Ray Bradbury ~ Fahrenheit 451)

I remember almost nothing
of chemistry itself except

we got called down once
for holding hands; sitting in class,
with your knee between my legs,
we were locked together
for an hour and a half.

That’s what I remember most.

And once when we lay
in the grass, staring up
into the poplar tree I
rubbed dandelions on your chin
hoping the pollen would stick.

But a summer passed before you called.

You told me you
had a girlfriend.
I told you I
might be pregnant.

What do I remember?

That unsent letter
burning to ashes
in a metal box
shaped like a heart.


Crossing Paths

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

I saw you once
in your car
at a stoplight.

Did you notice

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?


I watched you drive by, unaware.
I wonder when
we’ll see each other
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

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)?