Conversations With Strangers

This is some really back wall stuff again. This piece was written well over 10 years ago, probably more like 15 years ago.

Conversations with Strangers

We’ve spent our whole lives having conversations with strangers
but there’s no one that’s stranger  than us.

All  we know how to say is ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

What Mother taught me
is how to smile when I don’t mean it
and cry when no one is looking.

Now that I’ve grown,
I’ve got it all backwards.

There’s something the moon is trying to tell me
but I’m too blind to listen.

I used to know you better than this:
When I think about that,
I sigh expansively, 
       exhale entire planets.

The stars we used to watch together
have probably died,
but the miles of sky between us
hasn’t changed.

The hardest thing about keeping in touch
is picking up the phone –deliberately—
and hitting ‘send’.

the ten seconds it takes you to answer
is long enough to realize
I haven’t planned a word past ‘hello’.

The most important thing I had to say to you
always comes to me after we’ve already said ‘goodbye’.
It’s like unpacking groceries only to realize
you’ve forgotten the thing you went to the store for
in the first place.

I don’t want to think of us as ground beef and strawberry jam
but I can’t help but wonder who you are,
who I am,
how we fit together, 
and how much longer it will be before we know.

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