Between These Lonely Walls

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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

only mine.

And that truth

will never be yours.

Palm Reader

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.

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