I hold my breath. From across the empty soccer field
by our apartment complex on Wednesday afternoon
I could have sworn I saw the exact outlines of a body
I used to memorize by heart— slender-legged, poor
posture, meandering through the chemically treated
grass with no sense of direction. You used to pace
the forest just thinking. About what? I’d ask you,
after you’d disappear for hours without warning.
Nothing really, you’d say, and shrug your shoulders
far too casually for me to believe. But those nights,
playing with your pale blond baby hairs and forcing
you to guess the words I’d write sloppily on your back
with my fingertips (the answer was always I love you),
I didn’t feel the need to know what you were thinking.
It’s funny how Nothing really suffices until it doesn’t.
Until I’m squinting my eyes from a hundred feet away,
wondering if the dimensions of the wandering man
match yours. But the mathematics are always a little
bit skewed. He’s either too tall or not tall enough,
sporting an outfit you’d never wear. Tell me, do you
ever try to find me in the shadows of other people?
Do you hold your breath until you’re wrong, too?