Lafayette was a street you lived on
in a time and place
when and where I had no idea about your existence.
I strolled through the neighborhood without fences,
and I can see you as a child with your wild eyebrows,
eyes full of wonder, and a bowl cut.
You wore an ugly magenta, wool sweater
And maybe I’ll realize I’m a spooky ghost in my time,
just the wind in your place. And maybe you’ll glance my way,
and I understand something.
Lafayette is the street over from California, where
you and I once sat on a porch swing, smiling at my camera.
I remember I wanted to learn photography,
And you were the one person I wanted to capture in time.
You had cut your hair, which lost its brown dye.
You turned back at me, shy but happy I wanted more pictures of you.
You wore a buttoned, blue shirt and I deleted all your photos except this one.
I wish I understood how to love you best, better than myself, better than anyone.
Lafayette was easy to remember because L for Lily.
A little down Valley, a few streets from Lafayette, is a flower shop called Lily Florist,
on the corner of which, I once stood with a cigarette, smiling that I just couldn’t escape you.
And I think about the flowers I bought home to you, some of which I added cards
that all began with Lily,