The New Artists

I met this boy.

And I couldn’t put two and two together

About him and me and all of it.

About why the two of us somehow

Meld into pottery so devastatingly delicate,

It’s almost too beautiful to put to use

But we do.

We drink cups and cups of coffee

And watch each other over the rims

And we talk about everything that has been.

The slow learning of two strangers-

A boy whose heart you better not break

And me, wringing my hands;

With him there, with empty coffee cups-

That had done what they intended and more.

He tells me about his childhood-

About the little things that happened

The pranks, the holidays, and it all.

When he learnt to ride a cycle;

The one time he tripped on the curb.

His vices, his weaknesses, and

How he hates chocolate.

He tells me as he sees me across him,

As he sees me, with fascinating insight,

Almost as though I didn’t need-

To introduce myself or tell him how I-

Was bad at math and good with words;

How I grew up everywhere, and-

How my roots strayed away from me-

And that’s what’s it like.

The chapter in a book- in your book;

The chapter you didn’t mean to write,

The pages that were never intended to be;

Like a tune you hum all day long-

Even as you can’t recall where it’s from-

But it’s a scratchy record of an old classic.

And he talks, and I memorise his voice,

And I keep his words for myself,

And as my head falls onto a pillow,

My hand curls under my neck,

I cradle the conversation, pull it apart,

And play it again, again, and then again.

Because, you see, I met this boy,

And I don’t understand.

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