unmetered ballad

Knowing You

Please ignore my symmetry
and my slender supple sinewed hands
and the tiny tingling mystery
I hide in the iris of my eye.

If you knew me you would know also
that I am slow to smile at strangers
and that if left to me, the world would forego
its need for small talk and greeting cards.

Please stop thinking I know things that I do not,
like your middle name and the tattoo on your back
and how we met one summer in the hot
afternoon of your nineteenth birthday party

and how you have danced outside, in all the springs
I have been your friend, when the first rains come.
I have never known those things
because, my friend, I’ve made myself forget.

You know me for my symmetry
and the lilting way I say hello
and for the cultivated mystery
I hide beneath my tripping tongue.

I never asked, and never want, to know you
and the crooked way your eyebrows raise
and your hands that never open unless to
make an offer or wave goodbye.


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