if you were a little bit older


if you were a little bit older
Nokyoung Xayasane

They say you can’t have it all.
Who are these people?
What are their credentials?

I would like to have sex
with you
and still talk to you

I would like to stay up
late one night
just talking to you
about the nature of evil
and of goodness.
The next day
is a rainy Sunday morning.
I would like to order two pizzas
with your normal quirky toppings.
You like to combine toppings
that make no sense.
We usually get six sodas
with this particular deal.
The sodas stay in the fridge
for months
because we don’t drink pop.

I would like to watch Netflix with you
and fall asleep on our couch
with our orange cat between us.
We’ll get very indignant or upset
about the state of American schools,
the commericialism of the world,
or whatever topic
in whichever documentary
we happen upon
that afternoon.
We’ll worry about it for
ten to fifteen minutes afterwards,
the sting of humanity still strong and raw.
But then you suggest we go out for pho
or maybe sushi, all-you-can-eat, of course.
You know I only like to leave the house
for food.
We go out to eat
and I take photos of the food,
overhead shots of course
like a pro food blogger.
I tell you to ‘act natural’
and sometimes your hands are
in the photos.

That’s all I have now
photos of disembodied hands
in sepia-toned images.
It proves it was real,
some part of it,
the Instagram-filtered part
where everything is beautiful
and clear and perfectly positioned,
perfectly experienced.

I put those pictures in a drawer
in my mind, of course,
no one prints photos anymore,
except for that one time
I wanted to be old-timey
and I printed 100 photos
because I wanted to know it was real.
That we were real.

Now those photos are all I have.
They show
what we were and what we could’ve been
if you were a little bit older
and I was a little bit wiser.

I would like to enter a time machine
and remember your pretty face
and electric soul, as Lana Del Rey would say.
Those late summer afternoons
when I turned to you and you turned to me
and we fell asleep
on our couch
in our tiny apartment.

Yes, I think I would like
to have it all,
in my opinion.

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