Overlooking the Georgetown Park Mall while she was drinking coffee at Dean’s
With her white ball cap on, wearing a Bulldog sweatshirt
Reading an English lit book like A Farewell to Arms
Her mere existence is signaling me to say hello
Concreting my feet down the avenues of M St.,
Labeling myself, languished in my distasteful feelings
Devouring a Clyde’s burger or a J. Paul’s Oyster, or some Old Glory BBQ
Toiling away in relative anonymity
Self-realizing that Wisconsin Ave. from the salamander to the sequoia is truly our landing spot
I am finished with telling stories to customers
I am done shooting the breeze with shoppers
I am checked out of my job at the basement shop, Fit to a Tee
On the lower level, the smell of chicken fried rice lingers from the Japanese steak house
A red sign for Mrs. Fields’ chocolate chip cookies lights up
The mall is nearly empty, while Sbarro pizza waits
And the Abercrombie and Fitch models wear cozy sweaters on the poster in front of me
With the Dean’s coffee and coming out from the mall into the starry night
I walk outside waiting to recognize the signal from the universe to be open
To merely say hello and start a simple conversation.
We intersect like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in our hands.
Or maybe it’s tea and sun butter.
With yoga mats, we descend on hot yoga in Dupont Circle
To become open, free, and loved
Then realizing our poses are simpler and easier than we think
Like ancient times, we strongly commit to the verses of life, the asanas
And breathing guides us to the local tavern where we get a drink from Martin
Believing that he serves the best post-yoga cocktails in the cold district.
Ending the night, we stumble upon an M St. psychic reader.
Using her psychic energy to read our palms
We laugh and chew the fat, arms together, striding down the back to M St.
Our breaths now visible in the cold weather.
We hook a right on Prospect, passing the Booeymonger
Evading the police who have harassed us on the city sidewalk nights before (and who we’ll defund years later)
We are drunk off the emotions and high of these feelings of pure bliss.
Swerving to avoid that feeling we cannot avoid or miss
The darkness of the cool moon sky makes the goodbye feel permanent
As if we may not see each other for a long time
Yet we know in our hearts and lungs and mind that it is only a matter of time
For us to neither fast forward nor rewind a mixtape
We will find our way to be tangled up in a blanket on the sand
With our guarded hearts on the opposite side of the ocean
Before we can make a side wheel motion
We find a washed up bottle that looks like potion.
We take a sip of the mineral water, and what comes next resembles a dream.
We play through the 8th hole on the green, seeming to find momentum from an engine like steam
We will not miss, the chance for long term happiness
Saying good night to the previous loneliness
It’s as if we are drinking Dean’s coffee, and this is deep and momentous
Chronologically experiencing a rich taste in timelessness
As I am overlooking the mall, finding serenity and bliss.
Big thanks to my editors: Tom White, Jude Klinger, and Cameron Zargar.