How it happens that you’ve fathered a child and it shouldn’t matter to me when I find out via social media
Saint John, 2005. You want to hike, debate, lob frozen pizzas off your back deck. You play guitar, wear flip-flops with the bottoms worn through. Tan dark in summer. You get that haircut, listen when I talk, walk with a hitch in your stride like a little boy.
No, I say when people ask. No, we’re just friends.
Star Wars night, because at twenty-one you’ve never seen it. We sit too close, and then we walk, because you are all pent-up about something. You confess in a rush, your reasons much more noble than mine.
At first I like your face, your forearms. I don’t realize I will wear this moment like a coat.
Cape Split Trail, Nova Scotia. Scrambling behind you and my father, I catch my ear on a blunted tree branch. Later in Wolfville, outside the church where my parents were married, you take a photo, enthralled by the blood congealing in my scapha.
Seven months in. A street near your house, no traffic – we are in the middle. Our breath, the snap of dark, the sound of winter boots. We try to talk about what we want and fail. I am your obstacle, you are mine.
Your basement, 2006. I am crying accidentally; you haven’t made eye contact in weeks. We talk for some time before coming to it. We are surprised, like people breathing after a long dive. Or maybe the other way around.
Yes, we say. Done. Yes.
Time. I am single always, you never. I still borrow you – and there he was, with a gerbera daisy. Oh yes, I went there with my ex. I am pitiful, like people who can’t recognize they are tone deaf. Always borrowing.
My last e-mail to you, February 2010. You would like Vancouver during the Olympics – chaos energy. I hope you are well. I’m not sure you check this address anymore.