There Was this Boy

There was this boy in high school who was out

of my safe circle, in

with the weed-smoking long-haired


He saw me on stage in the play. He wrote me

notes, letters about what life may mean and about

how we were meant to find out together.

“You don’t understand,’ he wrote me,

“I love you.”


I have rejected other men who wrote me,

 “You don’t understand, I love you,” and

the verb trudges with such strain, as though

the act of loving me requires steroids, a bench press.



“I love you,” this boy wrote: a daisy proffered, a weightless surprise, a buoy in my old age.