I awake thinking of you. Before the sun comes up. Before the city opens its eyes.
I think about you walking out of the white front door to your four-step brick building two blocks away. Walking out the black metal gate. Showing somehow you want to see me as badly as I want to see you. Exchanging avoidance of eye contact and small talk. I’ll say how I figured you were busy when I didn’t hear from you yesterday but leave out the part about how I haven’t stopped thinking of you since the first day we met. You can say how you’ve been really busy but leave out how the hood of your sweatshirt still smells like my coconut shampoo from the the last time we hugged goodbye.
Neither one of us will mention that word.
I step outside into a misty 6am on 41st Street. I light a blunt and get high on my way to your house. Nerves unravel to frayed memories but my hand still shakes when I reach in the pocket of my jeans to grab my phone and call you.
I lose my intrepidity.
I hover near a locked playground and listen to sexy songs on my iPod. Songs that sprawl my spiderweb fingers that stick to the side of thick hips rolling in three different ways; pretending to be braver than I feel, more confident. There is just enough warm rain spilling down to spring the waves of my chestnut locks.
There was a movement you made toward me once, swift and natural, with your left hand. We were in your bed at 5am. You sat up to smoke and like a reflex my bare shoulders popped off the burgundy-sheeted mattress to the sound of a striking match. The snapped scent of sulfur.
With a Newport between your crescent moon lips, two feet on the carpeted floor, and things on your mind you haven’t told me yet, your hips twisted 180 degrees toward my shadowed silhouette. Your hand slipped up the right side of my jaw, it circled my cheek bone. And as your thumb barely touched the top of my ear, I lost my breath.
Four fingers swept long hair from in front of my face and as you said, ‘Go back to sleep baby,’ I wondered if I would ever tell you that I haven’t slept a single moment beside you to date. Tell you how I’m not ready to sleep through a minute of your time yet.
Parents are walking their children to school. Tradesmen are packing vans. Old people up early are standing beneath awnings drinking coffee and considering how the neighborhood has changed.
Your light isn’t on. You’re probably asleep. You’d probably think I was crazy if you knew I was down here. Thinking about the shape of your arms. The taste of your fingers.
There’s a track change, something slower. A song that makes my heart heavier. It fills my head with thoughts I won’t speak. The touch of the damp atmosphere and idea of you upstairs invokes a tremble in my chest, the kind that makes painters create landscapes and writers scribe poetry.
I walk home before daybreak. I’ll never mention how I danced in the rain beneath your third-story window. Ten minutes later when my phone rings, you don’t mention how you were watching the entire time.