The last time we were strangers was on the roof of a party / you’d climbed higher to photograph bands playing at one end / view of whatever suburb we were in / I’d lost my sense of direction long ago
I pictured a fall, but you reassured me / only on your second drink and I guess I’ve always liked that about you / always only on your second drink / always just that little bit higher / even when the rest of us are on top of a roof
I was dancing solo to Paul Simon’s Graceland / not my favourite track on that album, but a definite favourite album / a link to my past in a place still so new / I was only a little self-conscious at that point
you introduced yourself and I felt this kind of safety, like, my situation was difficult then – disappointed in the man I’d moved here for struggling
to fit in –
but there would be people to know and to meet, I mean, if the roof collapsed out from under us…
I’d be okay, you know?
and with that clumsy realisation, clunky metaphor
my awkwardness around you was born
it’s hard for me not to look back searching for signs / even though I’m coming to understand there is no fate, no destiny, just good old-fashioned cause and effect / although that in itself can get pretty metaphysical
like the retroactive significance of you being / the first person I bumped into in the city. As in / my first ‘bumping into someone I know in the city’ experience / I was counting things in firsts / until they recurred
less mystical, more meaningful the moment you brought me / all the chocolate you could find from your cupboards / sat with me under a tree / I was pale that summer and in need of your blue-eyed chatter
I ride the two right angles / between your house and mine / lights if you let me stay late, or with you / your arms wide on the bike path, because of course you don’t need to hold on / of course you’re not going to fall.