I always see you, legs crossed,
at the same table outside the window
where I’m sitting at my station,
laptop open wide, the only sound
the clicking I am making
as I look up from the keyboard,
taking in the hole torn in your jeans--
offering a tasty shot of latte colored knee--
and a phoenix preening red and orange
as the setting sun on your long blonde bicep.
Sometimes you’re there with older men
who seem to know you all too well.
Sometimes you’re alone with just
your cigarettes and the weather.
Our eyes connect occasionally
but always from that distance
created by the glass and my assumptions
about the laws that separate us . . .
age . . . a look . . . an attitude . . .
perhaps a certain class . . .
It’s a void that I can fill
with any narrative that stains
the pristine pages I routinely write.
I tell your story to myself
always casting you as bad news
that I can’t help reading.
You’re the rent boy or some other rogue
who would approach
only for a reason I’d regret.
I can make you lost or dangerous.
I can leave the safety of my sipping
and my typing and I can put you
in the middle of my hack dreams
where button downs and khakis
tangle with tattoos and torn jeans.
I can twist our tales like taffy
where there is no real or imaginary line
and no reason to remain here,
sitting at my station.