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It’s like we’re standing under a street lamp.
It’s like we’re interfering
with the way light falls on the pavement.
But it’s also like nobody notices,
because they’re caught in the Christmas rush.
It’s like we’re dancing among the pale stars.
The way illumination bends the past
the way time pauses under the constantly evolving sky
the way it feels like it’s preordained
the way it feels as familiar as the clothes on our backs
the road that leads back to believing
the door unlocked from the inside,
that’s what this is like, to me,
I whom you found,
I who didn’t look for you.

It’s like that story that broke the cliché
of happy ending stories, and gave us instead, a choice
you know that movie
where the blond actress sings a song towards the end,
and the man was sitting there listening,
but he had a flight to catch,
and the credits started rolling,
and when I asked my friend Maii about it, she said
whether I thought he caught his flight or stayed
would tell me whether I was a realist or a romantic,
and I said all I could think about was the cab driver
outside her apartment, waiting for him with the meter running.
I was wondering if maybe in all his years of service
he had carried enough passenger tales in his backseat
to figure out the answer, and act accordingly.

It’s like cruising the streets of Chicago at one a.m.
as if the lights were alive and you don’t know why
you feel drunk when you only had nocciola gelato.

It’s like that night I discovered Charlie Parker for the first time,
and played Summertime and April in Paris and How High the Moon
over and over for several hours in my bedroom,
reveling in a complex sweetness I never knew existed.

It’s like those cream-colored incense sticks
my friend Blossom combed the marketplaces searching for
which, according to her, smelled exactly like the streets of Bali
and she wanted me to know what it was like,
because I couldn’t be with her on her trip,
and she knew I wanted to, so she gave me something I could use
to transport a part of myself there, where I couldn’t be.

It’s like something I already know, but would like to be taught.
It’s like maybe I dreamed of this before,
a million years ago, and I’m supposed to know
what happens next but I can only look at you.
And it feels infinitely lovelier because you’re looking at me too.

“le rendez-vous / свидание”
by photographer Mila Titova

This was inspired by the great Frank O’Hara’s poem Having a Coke with You. (Click here to read.)