I Don’t Know Him—Yet. {Poem}

I always open the door for my emotions, no matter how much I don’t want their company.

I capture these emotions in my poetry, so I have a witness when no one else is watching. You see? You see? It is possible that every now and again happiness and sadness arrive at the same time.

This is one of those times, when the only noise is the air conditioner and there is no future to this day, just this. Joy and sadness cancel each other out and all that’s left is emptiness.

~

It is in moments like this when I think of him

When plans fall through

The floor shatters beneath me

And I’m falling away from the anticipated excitement of possibility

Disappointment makes me dream of him

It keeps me company when no one else will

The thing is I don’t know him, yet

I don’t know the creases mapped on his palm

I don’t know the story of the scar etched in his shoulder

Or the freckles speckled across the primer of his nose

I don’t know the soft, thick waves of his hair—a hand-me-down from his mother’s father

Or the imprint of his sandals in the dirt

I don’t know that he puts on his socks before his pants

I don’t know that he laughs inappropriately when he should be quiet

I don’t know that he doesn’t know how to let the discomfort pass without a need to escort it loudly away from the moment

I don’t know that I will teach him how to do that—to let go and just be silent

I don’t know that he loves hot sauce on everything except ice cream

I don’t know that he hates the smell of lavender

I don’t know that when he touches me I’ve never felt safer

I don’t know yet that he lives for the joy of his family

I don’t know that he sends his friends hand written letters because he wants them to know he cares

I don’t know that his heart is as fragile and sensitive as mine

I don’t know yet that we’ve both suffered the same sufferings and we’re scared

I don’t know that we are equally terrified of plans falling through so we decide not to make plans at all

I don’t know that he’s sitting somewhere feeling a rise in his throat

It’s scratchy

He’s trying to clear it

He’s drinking water or getting up to stretch to get rid of the nagging

I don’t know that we both tell ourselves the same thing—I’m better off alone

Trying to convince that aching knowing that there is a her to his him, and a him to my her

I don’t know that we both ignore the agonizing wisdom that the days are rushing by and we won’t ever make it to our 50th anniversary even though we both thought that’s how it was supposed to be

I don’t know that he’s thinking about her right now

I mean, that he’s thinking about me right now

He doesn’t know that I’ve looked for him in hundreds of hims

I don’t know that he’s done the same and is about to give up

We don’t know that we are both right here, together

Separated by a wall of time

We don’t know that we are both wondering—When?

When will I meet her?

When will I meet him?

I don’t know

I don’t know.

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