Friday, September 21, 2012

Half in Halves

You offered to drive and I let you.
I half hated myself for it.

You offered a beer and time to chat.
I half wanted to drive drowsily
to the drafty house I was staying at

I agreed to a beer with you.
I half wanted to never speak to you again.

You suggested, instead, that I come to your place...
so you could visit with me while preparing your lunch for the next day.
So practical.

I half wanted to tell you to go fuck yourself.

We assembled the bike rack on the back of my car
as we had done about a hundred times before.

I half wanted to tell you that you did it wrong;
the straps weren't tight enough.

I half wanted to let your bike fall off,
halfway down Baltimore Avenue
and watch it get crushed under the trolley.

But I quietly tightened the straps instead.

We got in the car and I told you I didn't want to go to your house.
I half wanted to reach over and touch the soft, sunned skin of your arm.

Instead I told you we had nothing to talk about.

We drove on and I wondered why
we keep seeing each

I told you I would come over for tea.
I half wanted to jump out the car window.

We sat in the dimly lit kitchen of your crunchy communal house
while you chopped sweet potatoes and I chewed the mint leaves from my tea.

It was midnight.
You were making soup.

It was midnight.
I was drinking tea
in your kitchen
watching you make soup.

I wasn't sure which of us was more absurd.

We sat on the couch and spoke about the people we felt ourselves becoming.
The teacup was empty and the soup was delicious.
I half noticed your eyes half closing.

It was time to go.

I asked you to walk me to my car.
I was half hobbling from the blisters on my feet.
You offered me a piggyback ride.
I half believed you wouldn't make it halfway down the block.

But you carried me the whole way.

We held each other in goodbye.
I half wanted to hold you like that forever.
And I was half happy to let you go.

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