it was real

Nokyoung Xayasane

In moving forward
I stop seeing the past everywhere
I look.

But the way some people move or speak
is a ghost of you,
is a ghost of them.

Before I fall asleep, lie my head down
in late afternoon, evening,
I think of them.

They are different people.

Some days I am sitting at the feet
of the philosopher and he is reading to me
the lines of a book, a pot of tea brewing.

Some days I am in our second apartment
and the musician bends over a turntable,
headphones on.

Sometimes I am lying in bed with the writer.
He stretches out his right arm and I sleep there.
He holds me even though he doesn’t love me
like I would like to be loved.

It is my tendency
to dwell on the past
as my present moves on
without me.

But I would like to make sense,
make meaning from these images:
those books, that turntable, an outstretched arm.

All I know is what has happened.
That’s all I know.
What has happened
shaped by hindsight and flawed memory.

What I know is
I loved them.

That’s the truth.

No matter how they may have felt about me,
I loved them.

I would’ve been with any one of them,
shared my life with them.
And I did with some,
some longer than others,
some deeper than others,
but I know it happened,
it was real.

I loved them
and maybe
they knew it.

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