near miss

I wonder if I was ever closer to you than that train platform in Queens. I wonder where I was when you were falling in love with someone else. What I was thinking about when you had your first kiss. I wonder if I was laughing while your heart was breaking. I wonder how many moments you were marveling at the moon at the same time as me. If when I stumbled out of my bedroom to its astonishing fullness you were laying awake in her company.

I wonder if you ever walked snowlined streets, hands shoved in your pockets, the way I picture you. I never realized that for your entire life, you always met the new year before I did. We never counted out the last moments of a dying age at the exact same time. We never kissed someone we never thought we’d be without simultaneously. I wonder how our nights differed when we were becoming the people we know now. I imagine you were calling over the roar of a restaurant. Head down on a packed sidewalk. Emerging from hot stairs in a wilting button down. Meeting and losing people you never thought you’d be without.

All I know about the nights that led me here is that they feel far away now. Microscopic and insignificant, I have no need to revisit them. No desire to relive them. It feels like child’s play compared to the living I do now. Fading bluebells under the shadow of a big love and a life that swelled to claim it. I’d rather think of you and the nights you spent above Chelsea and who you might have been before our near miss.

I wonder if you ever pictured me the way that I pictured you. Or rather, the person you’d end up with. The way that my presence might fill a space like an ethereal liquid. The way that my smile could shine candles behind my eyes. The way that it would feel when it was finally right. The woman that might fall to earth and steal your last name. I wonder if I’m anything like you imagined. I wonder if any of this could have ever found some place among the person you used to be. The person I was never closer to than that train platform in Queens.

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