Out Loud

a poem by Jess Harrison

I found myself, one afternoon,
downloading that album you played,
almost two years ago on Christmas Eve.

“There’s so many subtleties
about you,”
You point out.
I never noticed that freckle
on my ear until your lips were that close.

On the couch, you apologize
for your five o’clock shadow.
“I love it though,” I confess.
“Your face will be so red,” you whisper.
“Battle wounds,” I boast.
We both smile, showing teeth.
That night you cracked
my lip open. Right dead down
the middle of center.

In the damp rush of cold that comes
in mid October – you leave, and I find
myself driving down the same
streets that never change.

Every time I pass your shop –
even when you’re not open,
even when I know you’re not there –
I whisper,
“I love you,”
out loud.

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