And if you could take another minute
idling in that intersection you might
actually feel under your fingers
the part of the void that has been
scratched by my reluctance to let you
drive off and belong to my past
along with your probing hunger
and the chapters in your story that
haven’t fallen into place yet, your open-
ended dreams and impeccable rhythm,
your command of passion so sharpened
it moved in that fray of gyrating bodies
with the quiet strength of a holstered gun
up until I invited you to bring it out
and show me, all that you have brought
and are taking back with you packed neatly
in your car between the polyethylene and
steel of your instruments. I gather my hair
over my right shoulder and hide the
bloodied lust caught in my nails, because
yes, I have mastered the consequent
emptiness like a damn artform and
am on speaking terms with the longing
that only needs alcohol to remind me
it exists. You wanted one more
kiss; I wanted one more drink.
They are interchangeable when
the moment requires a split-second
decision on whether to negotiate
with the night or hold nothing back
and give the performance of your life.
I was close enough to you to see only you
and the smoke from the fire neither
of us started on purpose.
As long as we could contain it, right?
As long as we kept an eye on our possessions,
right? Just one more kiss;
just one more drink.
I told you I was bad at regrets
but what I meant was I am more powerful
than the miles of ice on the side of the road
and I will name the warmth under your clothes
after my own destruction. I told you
I was bad at regrets but that was just code
for you to please don’t leave me wanting.
You are not from here and you didn’t come
to participate in a miracle. How could you
have known how potent this was,
to be standing on five streets at once,
North and Damen and Milwaukee
and the Wicker Park Blue Line
and the waxing of the moon conspiring
to strip us of direction so we could be
privy to being everything and everywhere
with nothing to do but measure up
to the intensity of that moment.
The cold, we find eventually,
is more final than the state lines and
the chances that slipped from our grasp
are so easy to hit the gas
at the changing of the light,
already thirsting for the next city,
the next iconic skyline. Except
I’m just really bad at regrets.
There aren’t enough drinks or kisses
to release me from you
or from the place you just left.