Thinking Of You On My Way To New York
I sit still, cross-legged, in my cramped airline seat; my hand tracing the outline of my shoe. I look out the window at the dark nothingness surrounding this little plane. And I think of how lightning streaks the heavy blue velvet sky at twilight in Spring. I'm returning to New York for our summer rendezvous because I know you still Jove me. And then I remember your subtle ways of trying to make me jealous. Like pretending to enjoy walks, or when you'd rather be playing O Sole Mio on the piano instead of Si vous N'avez Rien A Me Dire while I listen, hiding behind conversations with your friends. Or when you pretend to like the aroma of wild field lillies, breathing in the heavy floral scent, when you'd rather wake up to the smell of freshly cut grass and to the smell of wet pavement during thunderstorms. I sit, uncrossing my legs, suddenly furious. I crossed my legs again, knocking the magazine out of my sister's hand and onto my brother's lap. They both glare at me. I look out the window again. My sister reeks of perfume. I sneeze twice, half expecting you to offer me a tissue. Instead, my sister turns the page and continues reading like the way I continue to hear your embarrassed entreaties for me to stop as you stood smiling, wearing your white sailor hat. But I kept singing, strumming my invisible guitar to this old French ballad grandfather used to serenade grandmother with. I laugh out loud, remembering how you clamped yor tiny hands over my mouth, still pleading. The song did not die. I know you heard it too, all around us, because you sat down quietly, biting your lips to stop yourself from laughing. I continue to laugh, and my sister hits me with the magazine. And I forgive your childish games. Writing your name on my moistened glass, again and again I dream of how much I've longed to take you on a trip, knowing how much you hate California. I've dreamed of showing you my native Paris, away from all the incredible lies poets make it out to be as lovers' haven that promises candle-lit dinners by the Seine and midnight strolls to the foot of the Eiffel Tower where passionate kisses linger a little longer. I want you to know my home in the daytime as an ignorant city, racist against anything non-French. My fingers play with my drink, and I push the ice down. This time when I leave, you leave with me.