Nostalgia Melancholia

That look in your eye
is one of longing.
I’ve known you my entire life
you’ve known me even longer
but lately it’s as though I’m learning
who you are all over again.
I mean, you’ll always be
this unstoppable force
hiding the biggest heart in my mind
but out here
your cracked hands,
your beautifully stained cheeks and nose,
your lonely limp
that just won’t leave you alone
all of those telltale signs
are slipping the truth to me
and I’m tired of listening
or rather, scared to.

If I could build a time machine
to keep your tears at bay
(the ones that drop to the floor
behind closed doors)
would you use it?
Would you let me tag along in the back seat,
Game Boy glued to my hands, all over again?

I’d love to peer upon the very moment you and he shared that look.
Your initial interest somehow simultaneously
unsure yet undeniable
as it floats through the haze of that dimly lit pub.

Could we go back even further
to the first of three happiest days of your life?
When you cradled your masterpiece
in that hospital bed littered with lumps.
His tiny hands bat the air
showing you just how strong yet fragile
he’ll grow up to be.

How about a little before that?
Before you were dead-set on your decision
toward any of us.
When your dreams drove you
not your unconditional love or duty.

The spark that was trying so desperately to ignite
left these traces of excitement on your face
in reoccurring moments
that were too brief to lock to memory.

Those are my favorite moments to view you through
no matter how few and far between they are.

Let’s go back even further
to your first date
where you were so nervous
(old habits, I see)
but in a slightly different way
in a way that’s coy yet confident too.
Funnily, you know he liked you
but did you like him enough?
I guess not. His loss.

What about the night before
your first day of school?
Did you crawl into bed
with your Mutti?
The endless flow of tears
burning your cheeks
from your tiny hands
rubbing them raw.
Did you express to her
how you were facing your
first existential encounter
(as best as a five year old could)?
Did you ask if she’ll be
your mom forever,
even when you become her age
because now that you’re on the cusp
of growing up,
who knows when life will
slow down enough
to let you catch a breath again?
Naturally, she spoke the perfect pairing of words
to calm you down, to ease all concern.

Flashing forward
you realize how right those words
were, are, and always will be,
which is why you told me
the very same thing
that evening
all those year ago.

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