[…]


Kae De Cotiis

after the fact


there’s still a part of your
kiss on part of my lip
and I know it takes about
twenty-four minutes
to get home but those
twenty-four minutes
are always so safe –
every time –
“drive safe, kae…”

I drove safely for you.

I always secretly wanted you
to sketch my profile like you
sketched her profile it looked so
pretty I could see love in
blue chalk somehow I thought
she was lucky, I knew she must
have been smart. I knew I was smart.
did you think I was smart?

there were mosquitoes and
something chirped (a cricket?)
and a short-lived game of
frisbee and some drunk father
under a plastic roof that
protected us from rain that
never came and surprisingly,
your girl friends hugged me.

that song. that stupid
Japanese song that I couldn’t
get out of my head
my phone rang, it was Mehar
wishing me well with my
Lyme Disease, I remember
I was with you even though
phone calls rarely matter but
I remember it mattered because I
was with you.

do you understand?

with you meant:
late nights;
polaroids;
radiohead;
the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen, to date;
the slow unbuttoning of a cheap shirt;
the digital clock I never obeyed;
tiptoeing down the stairs;
running, giggling to the bathroom in a towel;
rolling around on my pink carpet while my parents took my brother golfing;
flying to see you;
seeing you outside the airport with aviators on;
neglecting (on purpose) to tell you how much I hate flying.

being with you meant:
I could breathe.

I could breathe:
on someone else’s porch;
in Spidey;
underneath your chest;
in an outdoor restaurant;
on the side streets in Millburn;
in front of a Rabbi at Christmas dinner;
underneath a colossal silver structure.

I could breathe because I knew it couldn’t
fall.

I could smile.
I had love.
it was scary, but
I had it. it was going
to take time to adjust to, but
I had it. it was new and we
made mistakes, but nonetheless
I had it.

(I have it.
I have love.)

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