and she listed
in increasing detail
she didn’t
and doesn’t
like about me
i could picture her
unspooling a paper version
filling the floor
to my ankles
to my knees
and she listed
things i expected
probably cruel
and i said
i don’t care
and she stopped talking
and i started smiling
i wasn’t trying to be mean
and she looked like
a penguin
trying long division
and i laughed
and she raged
and i apologized
but the smile of my voice
made her madder
and i wanted
to try to fake
question mark
i wanted to
be more
but the realization
had hit me
like a giddy late night makeout session with a girl i’ve wanted to kiss for soo long with dark hair, kinda messy, and tucked behind ears that hear what i mean in what i say and what i don’t, and eyes that, to me, feel like they really only come to life when they settle on me and a smile that could cure seasonal affective disorder if it could be harnessed, but it can’t be harnessed, it shouldn’t be harnessed, but it is framed by lips that i can imagine everywhere doing everything dirty and naughty and pure and perfect and never enough yet exactly what i need every day forever
i don’t care
i sang the words in my head
in my eyes
in my soul
i stood up
i think she
added that moment
to the list
but mentally
i was already halfway
down the street
smiling at a stranger
buying a slice of pizza
of course
a spring in my step
in my grin
in my hopes
i apologized
through a smirk
it was
the best
i could do
i turned to leave

and she grabbed my arm

9 thoughts on “and

  1. I like this – it’s just the willingness to walk away. I’ve been there a couple of times and in some ways it’s a relief to just start moving forward again.

    I’m possibly reading too much personal experience into it.

  2. Dude, stop it, you’re making me love everything you’re writing these days. In particular I heart the extra long line. And the bit about her grabbing you when you leave. Why is that always the case?

  3. “and she looked like
    a penguin
    trying long division”

    Haha I read this line and had to read it over and over again. I could picture it all too well :)

  4. Really like this… I didn’t see them making up at the end…in fact this got me all excited for his freedom…so I picture him shaking her off his arm… and continuing out the door.

  5. I’m not into the sexual stuff as much, as I’ve said, but to contrast what *does* speak to me – the frustration, the miscommunication, the happy, the sad, the poignant, the yearning – that stuff is powerful, and this makes me think of stuff like that. Nice work, Peter.

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