I had only known her for about a month, but we decided that it would be good for me to get out of this small town and head to the Windy City. We took the Amtrak from Staples, MN to the stop right before Chicago, IL, I can't remember that little suburb's name, but it's irrelevant now. During the over twelve-hour trip we reclined in the seats and enjoyed the scenery, each other’s company, and tried to dodge the stench of those less hygienic than ourselves. She fell asleep on my chest. I brushed the hair out of her face and kissed her forehead.
She pulls her head up, looks at me, and smiles, "Thanks." And she dozes back off.
. . .
The plan was for me to meet her parents, see as many sights as we could in four days, and go to the Taste of Chicago.
Being at the Taste was not like anything I had really experienced before. I was witness to thousands of people eating oversized drumsticks, spinach pizza, and fried everything by the fistfuls. I saw Buckingham Fountain (which my girlfriend pointed out was featured in the introduction to Married with Children), a pier full of sailboats, and a banner pulled across the sky with Mr. T proclaiming that I call "Call ATT, fool!" But it was when we decided to grab a bench under a few trees and relax that we met our soon to be appointed poet laureate.
Pigeons were there, as they always are when mass amounts of food is involved. I watched them from the bench for a while as they pecked the ground trying to distinguish between cigarette butts and pieces of hotdog buns. I tried to warm her under the shade by putting my arm around her and pulling her close to me. A wandering poet noticed this subtle sign of affection.
"Are you in love?" he asked rather bluntly. He had a backpack and purple shirt that read "Christian Poets Society."
We looked precariously at each other.
"Uh, no." We answered in near unison.
"Are you gonna put a ring on her finger?" he pressed the subject.
"Well, we just met actually." I replied.
"Here is a poem I wrote about love, it's called 'You Bring Life To Me'." At this point he became very stoic and slid into verse so seamlessly I didn't realize the poem had begun.
I desire your presence…
To me, you are the essence of my life’s
Time had stopped as the poet slowly motioned his open palm in front of us, like a magician revealing he has nothing up his sleeve, and he trailed off the 'shun' in "satisfaction."
Like the continual flowing waters of the
Nile, lasting memories of you
Irrigate my mind…
Your deep love for me
Circulates life throughout my entire body
And is parallel only to the functions of
With fists clasped together against his chest he matched the beat of his heart, in and out.
Every moment without you is like living in
You bring life to me,
I stand anxiously awaiting your arrival.
To be without you is like being in the
Desert with no water!
I thirst for your company and your touch.
My arms are useless unless they embrace You!
My lips are useless unless they allow my tongue to taste you!
No one on this earth could ever replace you.
I need you!
Like plants need the sun and my heart
Beats for you!
While we sat motionlessly amazed the poet propositioned.
"I charge a dollar for a print-out of my poems if you want one."
I grabbed my wallet and reached out two dollar bills and handed them to him. I wish I would have gave him more.
You Bring Life to Me by Geoffrey Watts