Poetry & Prose

Lucas, my friend

Art by Adrian Wong

He sent me a few words
today, like he does
at least weekly:

    “cheek by jowl”

He says it means close together,
doesn’t mention its
negative connotation—
he never packs a
negative connotation—
he never
nags that I’ve crossed the nation
and left him so close to home.

We remain
nested in conversation—
benched beside the reservoir or
Lincoln/Cypress station—
waiting for the past
to return
so that we might
return to the last
bookstore so that he might
pick another biography from
the depths—of all the words
he never chooses his own.

We’re far apart by now—
maybe it’s easier this way
to forget that I remember
so little about him.
I wonder how
he would write this poem—
I doubt he thinks it matters,
though I guess I wouldn’t know.

Ode to this logophile
who hates linguistics
and visits the stable to let the horses graze.