• Kristina Lang

I Thought...

I thought I saw you today

You were standing in a crowd

Tall and strong, head held high

A thick flannel shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans

That goofy walk of yours that always made me smile

Chuck Taylor's scuffed from all of the times you had to walk away from me

I thought I saw you

In the mirror today

Gazing admirably like I used to catch you doing all the time

I never told you how I noticed that gaze of yours, did I?

I heard you whisper, "Stop that. You're beautiful. Really."

You were the first person that helped me to see that reality in myself

I thought I saw you

At the bottom of a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream

I mulled over the consequences of eating this fattening, delectable treat

But then I laughed when I remembered

How you always used to say that eating ice cream made your shoulder hurt

Your ghost reminded me that I don't have to earn this treat - wanting it is enough

I thought I saw you

Staring back at me as I picked up my dust-covered cello

Sitting in a corner after a long internal battle with performance anxiety

I remember that face you made the first time you saw me perform live

Like you had just discovered a vibrant, new color

I think of that face to this day when I'm in front of a crowd

I thought I saw you

Grinning with pride

As I studied the works of Marx and Kant and Tolstoy

Learning how to create a better world with concepts like "Medicare for All"

Remember that time you laughed at me when I tried to pronounce "Bourgeoisie?"

Well, you should've seen me just try to spell it

I thought I heard you

Singing back to me today

When that one Pearl Jam song came on the radio -

That one, you know, that you had me listen to one idle Tuesday to cheer me up

It was "Light Years" - to this day, that song brings me chills

A foreshadowing of the day when I'd lose you

Time and space; Years that have faded away Self-discovery and the rancid flavor of regret lingering on my tongue

I want you to know that I see you in my growth more than I see you in my pain

You were a bright patch in an era of darkness

But I made you feel like a stone in a pile of diamonds

I dulled your spark when that's always been my favorite part of you

I tried to tear down your boundaries

Like I was in Berlin, Germany, November 9, 1989

But without unity on both sides, those damaged walls only exposed a wound

The parts of our relationship - no, scratch that, the parts of me - that needed fixing

If I could, I'd build them back up, reinforced and fool-proof

To show you that I've changed; the priorities in my life that I've rearranged

If I could do it all again, I'd never push you away

I would just simply say...

I'm sorry.

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