Saturday, November 1, 2014

To A Stranger (2010)

To A Stranger

On days like this
when I feel dead
and nothing is important
and I’m looking out of my bedroom window
to find that nothing in particular reminds me of anything,
I keep my head down
and think of New York.

The graffiti lines of your silhouette are written over this city
that I have never been to.

If I were to meet you for the first time,
I would arrive at your doorstep
in late November. You invite me in even though
I didn’t call ahead. My black peacoat,
which I think is quite New York,
finds a place on your couch, my shoes by your

And finally,
I get to ask you about an old World War I tune
that goes something like

"There’s a long, 
long trail
a-winding into
the land
of my dreams."

Or talk to you about how
you make me want,
want to travel on top of a train
through the empty spaces of America,
want to scrape life off New York’s streets.
And you want me to write something like On The Road
as we eat peaches in the dark, the ones
I brought from California.
So I tell ribald stories of the moon
because you are a creature of that world.
I have your full attention,
holding your dark blue focus
in between the tips of my fingers.

There are things that belong to you
because I ornamented you with them,
things that I wish reminded me of myself.
But you are tired of wearing them
now that I have met you, stranger,
and the space between us coalesces with them
to make the room warm and heavy.
So we take it out into the streets.
You take the window and I take the stairs,
only to break out into the brisk
wintry street traffic
and see you trapeze around the skyscrapers
like a fairy on Scotch.

Sam Tidwell, 2010

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