after when nobody returned my calls i walked to my deli on my corner and bought two loosies,
then stood by the smelly pay phone where the homeless loiter with strollers of useful refuse.
and like a thousand other unremarkable times i lit my first cig with my eyes facing the sidewalk,
but unlike every other time this time when i lifted my eyes i saw her walking in my direction
with a new man.
often times i think i see her everywhere, and when i think i see her it takes me one second to realize
that is not her chin, or that her eyes are bigger, or that her hair is sleeker, or her cheeks paler;
so in the one second when it looks like her and i feel something immense inside of me,
in the same second when it isn’t her i feel an emotional void so i slap my face and i take a deep breath,
but this was no drill.
so in the second i experienced this material form of utter regret approaching my corner
i ducked across the street and sought cover in the boisterous, drunken crowd in front of the bar,
where i smoldered and watched him put his arm around her which i should have done more often,
and walk up the street with her as she scanned the streets in my direction
because she saw me too.
and from behind that black cargo van my crouch transitioned into a glide and i stalked her up the street
without hesitation because i didn’t yet want her to leave my sight because i knew that when this moment ended
i was going to hurt all the same.
i peered from between parked cars as an unwelcome audience of one for those three minutes that i followed
her up the street, and when my giggle suddenly became a tearful reminder of my happiest times i kept a distance.
when she turned the corner onto the street she moved to when we stopped talking i quickened my pace,
and caught the corner in time to see their combined silhouettes surrounded by a tangled border of dark branches
before they disappeared into their house.
everybody who heard my story was unsettled by my behavior but fuck them i have no regrets about stalking her,
only regrets about how i treated her, and nobody will ever give me what she gave me; she is the only person
who would expect no less than for me to follow her and understand that i did it because
i still love her.