258: song: for my high school sweetheart

258: song: for my high school sweetheart

258: song: for my high school sweetheart

song: for my high school sweetheart
by Yaya Yao

in that downtown
cold you appeared, scarves echoing wild rainbows
through concrete tunnels

telling me about your latest poem
your latest indecisive man
you’d shake your fist,
moan and laugh from deep as we
walked through teeming
streets, stretching
our mouths wide, waiting
to catch the red braid of
breath that would
take us
somewhere,

casting giant shadows on the doorsteps of bloor coffee shops
where hours later we were two teas
one coffee and 7 poems warmer

the days we sat in trees, like the one at christie pitts
that held us in her palm whenever
we asked

or alexandra park at midnight, where
you taught me how to inhale, and i lay
and lied: i think i’m feeling something

some nights as my smoke and silence
heaved itself into thick vomit,
fermented tears, your hand
resting behind my heart

we gave our songs to strangers on the rush-hour college
streetcar
2-part sweet honey in the rock
somebody come and carry me into a 7 day kiss
the time a man gave us $1.39, good job!
we bought coffee and laughed

my love

we laughed
my love

now listen now
that you fail to visit
even dreams

i’ve read your letters
i’ve listened to your mixtapes
i’ve written you poems and set them on fire
i still don’t know who started it

find, if you do, a way to never let me
know

"song: for my high school sweetheart" by Yaya Yao, from FLESH, TONGUE by Yaya Yao, copyright © 2015 Mawenzi House/TSAR publishers. Used by permission of Mawenzi House.

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