Connect The Dots
We sat next to each other on an uncomfortable
bench in a space filled with people and smoke and
a resemblance of intimacy under a starless night sky.
I was so close to you that I could trace the dots
on your skin like constellations.
You were laughing over everything and nothing,
and the frenetic expanse of the space seemed to shrink, seemed to stop only to watch you.
The air felt thinner as if it was filtering your scent,
filling my lungs, and intoxicating me further.
From this close to you, I can smell your aftershave or maybe your cologne or maybe it’s just you, your natural scent rising above the smell of smoke from burnt-out cigarettes and agitated cars.
For a second, our skins touched, and for that brief
second, that minuscule space consumed me, defined
my wanting to touch you again.
And the space between us felt like it was a thousand
miles away from you on this uncomfortable bench in a crowded space filled with people watching you, filled
with smoke, filled a resemblance of intimacy.
I tried to sit still in silence next to you, out of your sight.
I wait for you to invade my space.
The truth is
that I love you.
But it is clear to me
that that truth is
And that truth
will never be yours.
You excitedly presented to me your left palm,
anticipating what futures I can tell you as I point
at every line, every valley, every mound.
“Your life is long. You will live a long and healthy life,”
I tell you.
You nodded as if you liked what you just heard.
I know what fortune you want told. But I hold back.
“I see success cut short by indecision,” I begin again.
“A decision needs to be made on the current path
you are taking.”
This is when you take your left hand away
from my grip and touch my cheek.
“You are telling me the same fortune you read before, when I first held your hand. You know what future
I want told,” you answer. A nervous smile lifting
a corner of your lips.
I hold my breath while I try to hold your anxious gaze.
I don’t have to look at your palm again. We both know
the answer as I stared longingly into your loving eyes.
And I nodded.
Stars have come undone for you and me before.
I once wrote stories with another name that
I’ve had to erase, luridly, mindlessly, to try
to get rid of every trace. But I can still see
the shadows and dots and the telltale signs
of a love story that was too good to be true.
Connecting the dots didn’t make sense
for that story anymore.
And you once looked up at the stars and wrote
verses with an old flame that burnt out and
left you in the dark to find your way back on your own.
The stars couldn’t even guide you back.
They were never yours.
One day, we will look at each other’s stars
and read between the lines, find connections that
knew each other like old friends.
When I’m brave enough, I’ll tell you to come closer,
to look more closely at the stars
in the night sky we share.
You might find stories that we have yet to tell.
For now, I’ll connect the dots on my own.