Things I Began to Tell You
I fall in love on Staten Island Ferries
(our free, intimate way of seeing Lady Liberty;
taking turns to shield each other from the wind,
as a pirate ship carries tourists along her pedestal -
an ironic paradox of time, making for a great black and white)
during Scrabble matches
(you assuming you’ll lose when all you know
about me is my love for language. You prevail - not yet
realizing my lack of being able to think on my feet, instead
taking my time to craft my words carefully, perfectly. Too many vowels).
I fall in love at rainy ballparks
(“let me know if you’re coming for sure -
quit your job - so I can make a purchase.” Do you
even like baseball? You don’t, I do: a first glimpse into who
you can be, the kindness in your heart; heavy rain, don’t slip now)
down museum hallways
(paces matched perfectly, take it all in:
but first, drink coffee. Touch the Berlin Wall. JFK, 9/11,
WWII, gangsters, wars, unabombers, natural disasters.
pain. heartbreak. loss. Did you see this photo? Hold my hand).
I fall in love in hick Virginia bars
(the last bartender was fired for being gay,
you say. Don’t get too close - no, hold me tighter,
lean into me. They’re singing karaoke, I’m ordering another
Miller Lite, you’re stealing my watch, wrapping it around your wrist)
as we wander around Central Park
(while your hand finds mine so nonchalantly,
so confidently; you don’t know this used to terrify me,
fearing it would call attention to myself, anything that would cause
them to stare, label me as wrong, different. The only label I’m after is “yours”).
I try to let go with each kiss:
not reading into your lips grazing mine in a soothing hello,
then just as quickly, a rushed goodbye.
Each time holding me over for only a few weeks.
“Be mine!” I shout into the wind at each parting. You never seemed to hear.