Of Course It Isn’t You

At the movie theater
Or on the street
I can smell you.

Of course it isn’t you
Standing there beside me
But when another man walks by wearing your deodorant
The neural impulses that rocket from my nostrils to my brain tell me
That it should, in fact, be you.
For a brief moment
I turn and smile,
Searching for your eyes,
Your hair, your shoulders
That slouch and make you seem bored.

Of course it isn’t you
Because our friendship ended what seems like
Centuries ago
On a blustery night in line at Big Ten Burrito.
We had been apart for so long and
We had become so different that
We no longer had each other in common.
If it weren’t for the beans and the rice,
Or the rain that drove us from the street,
We might never have noticed,

But there were beans and rice
And there was rain, and
By the third bite of my chimichanga
The End had become so strikingly clear
I almost stood up and left.

I didn’t call you after that and
You didn’t call me.

I’m not sad, I’m not angry.
I don’t look at us and feel the way I do
When I look at my old school pictures,
As if you were an awkward stage, like
Something that happened to me that I managed to escape.

Instead, the old me misses you
And the new me hopes you are doing fine
And the me me is caught somewhere in a particular limbo
Between a smile and a frown
When I turn expecting to see you on the street and
Of course, it isn’t
You.

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~ by ettaqueen on March 7, 2011.

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