in these months, how laced my words have been of you,
you and your Virginia thoughts

somewhere between the tram track’s chilled-steel and the metro platform-heat
I felt this fall coming and hoping it’d be carried off into tunnel depths, uselessly warned myself
but here we are,
 you embracing the city of sunburnt spires
 and me embracing a one-way mirror into your life

the flow of your fingers in and out of the sabled waves that hang along your cheeks
as those soft threads are tied up and drift down again,
is on replay in my mind—
while I struggle to let out a decent question whose answer is hopefully long enough to let me sit
even a while longer under your sunkissed tree, desperately catching leaves filled front to back
each with the myriad of stories your voice paints me of your life—
all for just a few hours with you
and as soon as those minutes wear out, my replay begins anew like all weeks before
and I cling on to those few thoughts we shared
waiting out the days till I can have an afternoon of far too few hours with you once more

an afternoon of heart palpitations caused by the mass migration of Virginia’s own tiger swallowtail butterflies
darting from my core, striking the illustrated walls of my heart along the way with every word you lend to me
and ending their journey up in the caverns of my own thoughts where they ultimately blossom into roses,
a pilgrimage that swiftly devolves into a funeral parade of roses
where my heart, already rehearsed for mourning
knows I only have one more of those afternoons left,
one last ‘how are you’
one last ‘did you go’ or ‘did you do’
even had I accepted the fate of impending ache, those three weeks ago next to you
under that lantern-lit centennial ceiling and gilded balconies, I still would have sat paralyzed in overthought

how it takes all myself not to yell to the world when I’m with you,
carrying an excited yawp up from my boot-soles and out as an exhausted scream over the rooftops of our city,1
how I just want to feel your Virginia warmth between my iced, pine-needled hands
a warmth that feels as if your mind was an autumn dusk drenched in wonder, curiosity-colored,
and manifested in a physicality of yourself alongside me, together blanketed in a millennia’s mystic glow  

I’ll collapse into the empty spot next to me, frantically trying to replay it all, for twelve more of these days
where we sit, auras overlapped, mimicking each other’s poses in silence
as I anxiously choose my next word to you
so that I can drown in the coffee-coated current
of you and your Virginia thoughts


  1. Whitman, Walt. “Song of Myself,” 1855.

Picture credits to Pexels