[…]


Amanda Laughtland

Seven Poems

Emily, You Know Who You Are


You go to culinary school at night,
you have short hair, you wear glasses
with square plastic frames. I caught you
looking before I turned to ask you

your name. We’d barely started talking
when my friend wanted to leave.
It was her birthday or I’d have stayed
to borrow your recipes. I looked back

from the sidewalk and saw you
winking through the window of the bar.


Seattle Center, Sunday Afternoon

You were a volunteer at Folklife
without an official t-shirt but with charm

and an accent. Norwegian? We talked
but I became shy. You said you’d helped

two lost children that morning. I hope
to find you again. When we met

I didn’t introduce myself. Please write
and I’ll tell you exactly who I am.


Girl with a Gray Weimaraner

I was eating a salad outside and caught your eye
four or five times. You were stretching
while on the phone. You had short, dark hair,
a pair of sunglasses pushed up on your head.

I wish I would have stopped and said hello.
I smiled but got nervous. I was the girl
in the black tank and blue shorts. You have
the best smile. I wanted you to know—if

by chance you read this—you made my afternoon.


Lunch at Lotus

Last Saturday afternoon, we were sitting
at adjacent tables, both with male companions.

Were you with yours? You wore black glasses
and a gray turtleneck. I was in a white jacket

and kept looking over at you. I remember
seeing you once downtown, dressed

all in red leather. Can I take you to dinner?


Girl on the Underground Line

I stood nearby until the seat opened
beside you. You helped with my crossword
and drank iced coffee. I took your stop

to keep talking while you smoked
and walked to work. When you had to go
you kissed me on the cheek and said

you’re stuck in a situation but to try again
in a month. I’m trying hard to wait.


Cute Thirty-ish Nurse

Last Tuesday night you were working
triage in the ER when I came in

with my father. He has a heart murmur.
Not the time or place to ask you out

but I’ve thought of you all week. I’m tall
with a thin build. My blonde hair

in a ponytail, I was wearing sweats
and a blue t-shirt, looking sleepy

and frumpy, and you looked so good.


Starbucks on Olive

You sat near the door, studying algebra.
We smiled a couple times. Nothing beyond that.

I read The Stranger and couldn’t think of a way
to approach you. Nothing less attractive

than being disruptive and presumptuous
so I didn’t buy you another Americano

and say what a charming bookworm you make.

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