Long waning days in the summer heat
in empty diners, feet clacking
in boots and trainers under the table
as our hands snatch in for fries.
This is a long time in the making:
many months of absences,
of lost glances in vacant corridors,
dresses and box braids and frustration
and art that splatters up walls,
guitar strings twanging all night.
If I were to have known that I loved him
we wouldn’t have spent this time
stuck in diners and pretending
that nothing at all was wrong, that
we weren’t from different classes
and from different worlds.
No, but: I do, I love him like everything
and his biker jackets and black hair
and battered copy of The Outsiders,
me with my box braids and dresses
and paintbrushes like oxygen,
riding across the motorway and
screaming into his back and
eating junk comfort food
like there’s nothing else to do.
Sometimes when I think too hard,
or see my portrait hung high on the wall,
I remember: that first time we met,
him a scary biker, me a timid geek,
staring at each other in fear.
Now we stare at each other cause
there’s nowhere else to look and cause
there’s nowhere I’d rather.