Poem – “Alaska”

tiles

 

Alaska // by Jennifer Patino

 

I won’t claim you or call you by name.

You were my last frontier, that’s for sure.

You were the one that didn’t even

have a chance to get away–

 

before going away

we made so many plans

I waited up for you, did you know that?

 

–You crossed a frozen pond and showed no fear.

You skated in espadrilles across sand at the run down beach.

You said it was beautiful once. I asked if you’d miss

Florida sunsets. I asked if you’d miss light. You said

you would be more sad about the return of the Sun.

I said I was a night person. You said you knew.

 

From the bar to that

one girl’s basement, to the top

of the lookout pier

 

I wrote poems for you after you told me you

couldn’t say goodbye because then you would

have never left. We talked about boyfriends.

So many boyfriends. You too? You asked if you

could put them up on your wall. (The poems

I mean.) I felt like an old fashioned idiot when

I realized they were a digital wall for all to see

and not printed and pinned above your bed

or better yet, copied and written down on stationary

in your loopy script. I only know your handwriting

because you signed my yearbook. I wish

I had a letter from you. I hear you say

I miss you” in that whispery way you said

you have soft lips” after the photo shoot.

Of course I can’t hear you. We have yet

to exchange new numbers. (We never will.)

I just have a gift for hearing texts as if they

are characters of my favorite book in my head.

 

Magenta type comic sans,

too bright, and this is the pre-emoji

era so I was in less than three with you but you never knew

 

You started modeling. Pin up poses. Pixie princess.

Peasant skirts. Exposed tan belly. I pictured you

in a frozen castle faraway and there you were

in the sunshine again. In the forest again.

In a dark bar again, hiding from the crowd

in the corner, but this time you’re with someone else.

I told no one I missed you. I forgot about the poems.

The most beautiful things anyone has ever

written for me.” You said. We didn’t talk much

after that. It’s your fault. You displayed us. You

exposed us. You made them look at those

photos a little more closely every time they came up.

You made me re-think Truth or Dare. You disappeared.

 

Do you ever think about

Aurora Borealis and how

her aura looked just like them?