Anti-Romance Under the Brooklyn Moon

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By Mikaela Conley (Copyright 2013 The Daily Saint/Mikaela Conley Photo: Erin Conley)

 

You are not good for me, and I, not for you
Perhaps this decade-long anti-romance
is meant to be a connection at a distance,
Across countries and oceans and bridges
and years and computer screens.

You brought me to a barbecue steak house
I ordered a vegetable plate.
I still remember the pain that flashed across
your normally overly confident face,
and I took too long to justify my food choice.

You passed me a drawing of a dinosaur in law class.
I laughed indifferently, but I later wondered the meaning.
I was the most and least special person in an instant,
and that feeling dragged through the years.

I went away.
You did, too.
You told me to come back.
I did.
You were with someone else.
I was, too.

And we danced this dance under the Brooklyn moon.

You were broken.
I was, too.
We wanted to be fixed,
but we were both addicted
to the broken pieces of glass that surrounded us,
the ones that drew blood,
the ones that, when the light caught them just right,
shimmered deceivingly at sunset.

You asked me to marry you,
several times,
drunk and high and more charming than ever,
and I laughed it off, rolled my eyes, walked away,
cool and indifferent.

When really I thought,
Maybe this is just us.
Perhaps this can be us.

And an image flashed over my mind,
like a ticker on a newsfeed:
I sat at a computer, writing yet another verse,
you smoked a cigarette,
hunched over a workbench, sharpening knives
and listening to notes so melancholy
the imagined music created puddles in my human eyes.

Eight years after the vegetable plate,
we reconnected on Broadway.
And we drank tea and whiskey and cheap beer all at once.
And you kissed me once under a haze of toxicity
and like the days long lost,
that moment felt real.

And we danced this dance under the Brooklyn moon.

But then you were gone again.
And I was, too.
Beaten down by the city’s sights,
I left in an instant.

You check in now and again,
a photo, a saying, a Happy “Miscellaneous Holiday,”
something indifferent and connectively undone,
and I will do the same.

And in that way,
We are connected and unraveling all at once.

A good invention that never found its purpose.

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