I'd carve you an ocean.
Through the middle of the country, from the
Gulf of Mexico straight up to Tulsa, a trench
as wide as your need for the coast, to carry up
salt secrets from the bottom of the Atlantic to
your back porch.
I'd build you a porch.
The finest pine hardwood colored by deep
mahogany stain and treated against the
weathering from your new Midwest salt air.
Every morning you could sit here;
Read British lit and sip from mugs of tea or
coffee with a splash of Eire. There would be
tables. And benches. And shelves for your books.
I would build it all with these two hands.
I'd take your hand.
We could walk along our ocean, skip rocks
along the surf and reminisce. Our hands
could grow wrinkled together; our palms would
share wrinkles as we walked. Our faces, weathered
by the wind and waves of our ocean, would stand out
in Midwest crowds. People would stare confused at
our wrinkles and sunspots and we'd just smile.
You make me smile.
Even a passing thought of you throughout the day is
visible on my face as a fleeting grin; and while no one
else may know exactly what or who is crossing my mind,
the expression tells them that it's pleasant...and uplifting...
But what it doesn't tell them is that away from their momentary
and unintentional company, that fleeting grin will never materialize
into something more, never be translated into words, never be
shared with your eyes.
You are my "what if?"
My "who knows?"
My "I wonder what..."
You are the one question to remain unanswered.
I'll never know what you smell like after a shower;
the touch of my fingertips against the skin along your
spine; whether or not we would fit like puzzle pieces
for the night, my knees in the backs of yours, fingers
laced, breathing synced. You're my "what if?"
What if we hadn't had so much distance for so many years?
What if I hadn't taken no for an answer?
Would fighting for you have brought you closer or
driven you further away?
My answer is no...to the questions you think but never ask
because even if the answer was yes, we could never find out
where those yeses would lead us so don't even ask them.
As the sky grows ashen and the sun sets on our ocean,
"what if" will remain and that's just fine with me, because
it is these "what if's" that inspire poetry so you're my inspiration.
And without that, I have nothing.
So remain unanswered and I'll remain inspired, and together we'll
write out our story while being free to live out our own lives.