Now, I imagine you were always there with me.
I would drive to the mall in the late morning light, as you stretched and yawned,
buy a pot of tea from the bookstore, sit beside you,
framed in the bright yawn of the window. From there, you and
I could see out into the bluish woods, where we sometimes liked to walk;
could see where they met the sky in their flowering. I loved you. I loved you.
I swear, I was always remembering you–
where you are, what you are thinking.
Your fingers fidget and tear the label on a water bottle.
Did you dream, last night, of the smell of gravel
from your childhood home?
You bite your lip, brush your hair from your brow.
When you look in the mirror, do you feel
real? Alive, full of thoughts and blood, and real?
Are you grey, and lonely, and perfect like a God,
or arrogant, like a young hero? It is true
the roughness of your sand-brown skin tastes of sweat; of every beautiful, unknowable regret.
I imagine you old. I imagine you young.
But, mostly, I imagine you as you are now– always slipping, always receding into the distance like water.
Today, I imagine you seated across from me,
You squint at me through your glasses.
“Come,” you said. “Swim back to me, as you were at the beginning of the world.”