There You Are

J Pensive
Photo Taken by Tony Joo

That boy holding the door for his mom,
the kid waiting in line at Starbuck’s,
the teen weaving his bike through traffic,
the man leaning against a bookshelf
tasting the prose before buying it,

Any photo of you, but especially
that one (your back’s to us);
You gaze into the distance
imagining a future
you chose not to have,

The mention of Power Rangers,
or Legos, or Ninja Turtles,
old episodes of “Star Trek:
The Next Generation”
(since there won’t be one),

My fridge when it’s bare,
peanut butter & jelly,
tortellini, Fuji slices,
when people order dishes
not on the menu,

Mount Diablo from all angles,
your school right there on 24,
our modest home in Walnut Creek
before I left your father,
before you coped by cutting,

Your shirts hanging in my closet,
that no longer smell of you,
your favorite grey hoodie
I’ve worn so much
its edges are frayed,

The song “Clocks” by Cold Play,
the film “Garden State” by Braff,
that poem by e.e. cummings
about the deepest secret:
carrying you in my heart.

In my dreams
I beckon you to
come back, but
you seem at peace
right where you are.

[Author’s Note: This poem was inspired by a poem of Maya Stein entitled “Where you can get it.” I looked for it on Maya’s website,  but couldn’t find it there, so I’m including a link to Andrea Scher (a true superhero) reading it on her website: But by all means, go to Maya’s website too! So much beautiful poetry.]

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