Lying on bright green grass,
a field of water stretched around us like a womb,
watching skater punks glide up and down
the concrete curves of this city.
Rows of anchored sailboats clank-clanking together in a strange windchime.
He sat facing the water; I lay on my stomach facing him,
scribbling in my little notebook, people watching.
My tired feet swayed in the air, glad not to be treading
down another wordless museum corridor.
His silence seemed personal. His eyes were elsewhere.
His body said, "No trespassing." "Don't ask." "Go home."

Why had I come 1400 miles to this silent, hostile solitude?
Because I was invited.
Because my world was bobbing to and fro
and I wanted him to say, "Shhhh, be still." and it would be still.
I wanted to see his face because I thought
the quiet of his eyes was as good as my words.

Later on, in the subway's rumble and jolts,
he glanced at me, wordless, behind his sunglasses.
In his apartment, as the dewy, gray morning light filled the air like breath,
the smell of him, his shoulders and back,
rose as he slept, windows open, in a pocket of distant city sounds.
I leaned toward him as we rode up the airport escalator,
breathing him in, a last-minute attempt to find him and keep him,
to carry him with me somehow.

I kept my eyes on Lake Michigan
for as long as I could.
Clouds were passing; farmland started to appear.
His honey-leather smell lingered
on my bags, in my mind, would sleep there for days.
My stomach still washes with adrenaline, remembering my anxiety
at the threat of the smallest intimacy and the death of his indifference.
The plane roared and was cold; I wished for
his over-sized flannel all the way back to this flat, forsaken state.
But we are going about the rest our lives now, leaving this one behind.
We never did have a clear direction,
but now I see it: He is East. I am West.