May 30, 2014

Conventional

When people ask me

If my girlfriend and I live together,

I tell them no.

Because they don’t know my definition of “live.”

They think it means that we

Reside in the same physical structure

At the same time.

That we always grocery shop together

And make rent payments

And do our laundry in the same washing machine.

There is an old Arabic proverb

That says, “to know someone,

You must travel with them.”

So if these people mean that we have

Seen each other

Lost in another country,

Weary and tired somewhere in between

Boston and New Orleans

With the same dusty pair of sneakers on,

And a number of times I probably

Took my frustration out on her.

Rolled my eyes

At her in Providence

And she rolled away from me

In the pull out sofa bed

In Columbus.

But she kissed me hard

On the train platform in Chicago,

Wrapped her arms round me

In San Francisco

And looked painfully into my eyes

In Dallas,

When the bus driver called everyone

To prayer,

And it was safer to just wait until we got

To Oklahoma

To hold hands again.

When it was pouring rain in Minneapolis

And I made her laugh when I said

This place always has too much weather.

She kept me warm in Vancouver

When we stayed in the cramped apartment

Under the stairs

And she complained sometimes

About me complaining.

She didn’t like how creepy Santa Cruz

Was in its off season

And she got frustrated when

I checked us in on facebook

Instead of checking when the Greyhound

Was leaving the station.

When we watched an Oklahoma sunset over

The flatlands,

And danced down Bourbon Street together,

Made love in more than a few odd places,

Learned to two step in Denver,

Finally met my grandfather

In his porcelain urn casket in New Jersey

Then cried about it

At a Taco Bell in New York City,

Spent the last of everything we saved

On a blackjack table in Vegas

And didn’t regret a thing.

The real adventure for us is going to be

throwing our roots down someplace.

signing a lease,

And loading our lives up into the same space

At the same time.

We have never lived together

In a conventional sense of the term.

But we have lived,

And we have done it together

And neither of us

Are very conventional anyways.

 

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