the times I pined to leave the city
the clefts between
myself and the friends I lost
the jobs I lost, the plants that
succumbed to mold, to rot
that winter I slipped on ice
every few days, sprained
my wrist, purpled my ass
cracked my phone in half
mostly I wanted to stick around
and now mostly I think about
where you might have been
the turns I didn’t know
were we in the same warm room
did we sit next to each other
on the train or did I bump
into you heading up the stairs
to the dance party?
mostly I hope I would have noticed you
a reading last year where I paced
anxiously in the back of the room
dove white hat askew on my head
ridiculously flamboyant for March
sleeveless and goose pimpled
it was barely spring but I felt roused
by my own sense of freedom
labored by my own fear of hurt
someone I had a crush on
was chatting with me about
her favorite parts of the book
my friend was talking
to your friend, I was focused
on the back of your head
not for long, not something
whimsical, not a premonition,
a knowing you were coming
just distracted, a hazy
sense of fellowship and then
I was pacing again and really
I wanted to leave but I stayed
and really I wondered who
would come out afterwards
to the leather bar and crush
a couple beers and cruise
with me and I thought
my heart is not open
and I thought there are
hits that take time
to heal, to stitch, to ice
and I thought I had all
the love I could bear
or all the love I deserved
and that no one else would
be able to see anything
but a busted ankle
skinned palms
a mouth metallic with distrust
but you,
you didn’t taste that

Image credit:dan Cohen

Boston Gordon is a poet and writer living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They run the You Can't Kill A Poet reading series, which highlights queer and trans identified writers in Philadelphia. Their work can be found in places such as Apiary, Bedfellows, Tinderbox, PRISM International, and Guernica.