emma’s house revisited

i still look at your old house on ogden when i pass in hopes that i may see myself outside your door.

i wasn’t so much a young man then, but younger still than today and full of the hope i promised you at 3 a.m. on the cool pavement of your porch, or barefooted in the soft, green blades out back, or with the warm whisper of our bodies in your sleeping house.

the childish confessions i made to you will haunt that little place; the fears that i admitted to will hang like dusty curtains across the windows.

the apology you needed at the end of it all is forming on my lips now, and yet, it’s not for you.

when i was young, i ignored the sweet, wild wind, the taste of honeysuckle in my grandpa’s yard, and the melon smell of summer, but somehow, i know that they existed. it was that way with you. a peripheral experience with you, always just beyond my full attention.

but this apology is not for you.

i am that person now. i am the soft suckle of a sweet flower hardly remembered. i am the bearer of broken promises; the harbinger of heartache. i am the meals you cooked that i didn’t want to eat, and the pavement i covered running to your house on summer days. i am left behind. not completely, but enough to feel out of touch; a memory constructed mostly of imagination.

but it is my apology: for the memories i restored with half-truths, for the warm breath in my mouth that i could not hold, and for the bitter taste of summer. for letting myself down. and it’s always this way.

i wake up some nights from fretful sleep and wonder if my travels end in comfort or despair. i wonder if you’re waiting there for me, vigilant and faithful to the feelings i inspired in you. or am i waiting there for me, heavy and brooding?

i still hope to see myself outside your door, not to undo the things i’ve done, but to touch my face with a smile that asserts the world is not entirely unkind.

and so i still look at your old house on ogden when i pass.

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