On Walking, On Stumbling.

Loving you was worth it. Even unrequited.
You taught me to adore the dirt, too. To commune with the stars.

There was that day by the Donau when it rained
When the sky was a wrung-out sponge and the whole path turned to mud
You knew I wanted you to kiss me you knew and you turned to me and rolled your eyes and said
Oh, the lady wants romance.

I had an umbrella in my bag, but I was never going to mention it.
I’d have denied the existence of the umbrella until my dying breath.
I was adamantly prepared to soak my amorous heart.
Instead, you offered me your hideous raincoat.

You were always pushing me to walk up hills my knees weren’t built for,
To go hiking in the sun in the wrong kind of shoes to sweat my patience into submission.

You kissed me, sometimes.
Once, in a thunderstorm,
When you said
You taste like wine.

You were one of those assholes who treat walking like some elitist thing,
As if there’s no point in a nature walk unless you are convinced your lungs are collapsing
As if the trees aren’t lovely if you aren’t also confronting your mortality and asking
If i die of exhaustion in the woods
And no one is around to hear my body fall,
Will it even make a sound?

You snuck a photo of me standing in a wheat field.
It was beautiful, it was a shared secret,
You said
The wheat is yellow like your hair.

I’ve been learning on my own to enjoy walking the same way I learned to enjoy the dirt,
To commune with my knees like I did the stars
And God, It’s so peaceful to sweat when you aren’t standing next to me,
Reminding me to relax.

I don’t have to wait to be kissed anymore.
No one ever accuses me of being too romantic.
It’s petty, but,
I just wanted you to know that.

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