Smoke Twenty Three

The room was never completely empty, of course. You managed to hide yourself amongst my possessions, the loose ties and woolly scarves, mittens. I’d meet you on the subway, when your picture fell out of the text book I was reading. I’d meet you in the laundromat, when your red polka dot top found its way into a load of white company-issued shirts. I kind of liked the shade of pink they took on, as if granting me a higher level of entry to the company’s familial hierarchy. The privilege of puce. I met you in the convenience store, right? Was that the first time? Holding two hot coffee cans inside the pockets of your Arctic windblaster. I remembered you a different way each day, until after only one month I had begun to see your double everywhere. Or maybe it was really you each time after all. Teasing me with doppelganger effects, your eyes like arcs of moon. We met in a nightclub, remember? Swept up by the song’s energy and the thrill of touch, swirling away and meeting again at the end of each beat. I returned home to the scent of lemon from a spraycan. A neon pulse thumped in my chest and arms. I held out a hand to Buddha in the dark.

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