Chance Visitors

Alex Dimitrov

They’re all only chance visitors.
By the West Side Highway all summer lighting old fires.
From New York to California, California to New York,
what you told me looks nothing like water or ice.
People change their lives, people change their lives,
and the world stays the same.
With the trees tonight (and inside them a century)
by the sailboat pond (and no one knew what you were).
Long mornings: you pass yes.
White nothing: someone should be happy for you.
The main dish, I admit, was a little bit bloody.
That year he shortened his hair many days.
One of us is angry, one of us remains so
neither one remains or keeps this look long.
Every umbrella I’ve lost was stolen by a stranger, he told me.
The nice ones, the awful: you pay the same thing.
Like a woman who walked up to the shoreline today,
put a chair down and looks like she’s still there. She’s still now.
Or when you’re tired of having the same thing
(when the sun burns your shy skin)
come make your mistakes like you’re used to. With me.
Because there’s an hour here everyone speaks of and won’t name.
Where the light moves past the Pacific
and arrives somewhere low, somewhere under your feet.
It’s human to want the sky with you everywhere.
Inside your apartment. Inside the inside life.
And however I say it, the last sentence
sounds better if spoken, not here. By a stone street,
in another city, they’re older and trying the same.
I want to know “why” all the time—even now—about everything.
The years come and they’re numbers. They have nothing to say.

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