he showed me his
ashtray in the sink
a prize from the last county fair
but i didn’t know why they couldn’t have
invested in something better–
a chandelier made of glass
or a cold metal flask.
he said “they know i like to smoke,”
and pointed to his throat,
“this is where my sorrow goes.”
i understood. i took his hand and said
“this is only the first of
many lifetimes where
a person i’ve loved
was in two places
at once”. he asked me how i knew and i said
“i know a guy who looks like you”
he stood in shock for a moment,
he was only a boy who seemed like you,
you whose delicate eyes i’d go searching through,
waiting hours by the roadside, vain in my hopes.
i smiled and watched him smile an identical smile
he brought out several broken bottles,
shards all jagged and bent.
he said “i’m not afraid of pain”,
and cut his mouth open before he could
explain what he meant.
the blood was dripping like a broken sink,
he laughed again and said
“i know what it’s like when your heart
is in the wrong place, i think”.
when i told him the resemblance was
making things hard,
“you need to hold on to what you’ve got.”
he nodded his head to enforce the thought,
neck moving slowly like a cable car up and down;
“you’ll find someone” he said decidedly
and lit up without looking back at me.
Copyright 2016 Golden Star Poetry