you move past me without even realizing it. funny how things work out after a year. it's been an entire year (365 days and counting) since I'd last seen you. from behind you look almost like someone else. an imposter in clothes you'd meticulously picked out off the non-bargain racks at some trendy clothes shop. probably express or buckle. it wasn't the clothes I found myself concentrating. it was never about the clothes. i could have wrapped myself in your skin, bare and exposed, and been happy. there were times I recall where that was the case. always after.

a friend seated next to me says something. probably offering a cigarette, which I notice is one habit you never broke. you already have one between your lips. i find myself suddenly jealous of that nicotine-laden, cancer stick. it's been 365 days and counting, but it's not like I've thought about what your lips used to taste like? (menthol cigarettes and the lemony, puckery taste of a long island on a night like this) no. it hasn't wandered into my head even once. I absently wave a hand at my friend, trying to politely decline his offer, while at the same time keeping my eyes on you. i'd hate to turn for just a moment and see you vanish into the masses, becoming another random face, another random body. my friend gets curious. his eyes follow mine. even though I'm not looking at him, I know he's smiling a knowing smile. oh, he's saying, I see. it's him.

i would start to say something, but nothing has been said. besides, it's not like i'm making a big deal out of you being here. of course you're here. it's the place to be. we always came here. before. my friend wants to say something, but now i've drowned him out. perhaps he was suggesting we move inside. or go dance. i don't know. i didn't care. i was already lost. a longing that I thought had been buried down within was starting to surface. like some internal globing warming was melting away at all that. slow and gradual. and now you're here, some ten or fifteen feet from where I'm sitting and you've done it. all without having to say anything. or even look at me.

i wonder, as i watch you, what's on your mind. have you thought about me, even just once, in these 365 days and counting? do you ever sit by the window on a rainy monday, stare out the window and watch the drops collect, thinking of that time in sedona where we were caught in the storm. the day we explored nature and made like adam and eve? do you hear that song we made love to for the first time and feel my breath on your ear? My teeth at your lips? do you feel yourself inside me? do you ever feel my arms around you when you sleep? does your bed still carry my impression? my smell?

probably not. from the looks of things, you're long past all that. i see you with two others. probably friends. or more. i don't know. you've got a long island in one hand, a cigarette in the other, a smile wide on your face and i want nothing more than to go over and kiss you. kiss you the way we used to 365 days (and counting) ago. taste all that you are. give myself over to you completely and know that you are mine. but no. you sip at your drink and continue to make small talk.

have i told you that i haven't small talked with anyone since you left? have i told you that no one has touched me the way you did? have i told you that i look out on rainy mondays and am back in sedona? rain and all. can i tell you that when i hear that song, i can feel your lips on mine? can i tell you that i can feel you inside me in those moments and that i'm yours all over again? can i tell you that when i go to sleep at night, your scent and warmth lingers like some wayward phantom on your side of my bed?

you turn your head. for a moment i'm sure we make eye contact. three-tenths of a second. and in all that moment, barely enough to crack a smile or wave a hand, i've come up beside you. my mouth against your ears and i whisper all those things into your ear. i whisper that i'm sorry. that i've thought of no one else but you for all this time. (365 days and counting) that everytime i think of you my knees melt and i lose my breath? most of all, in those three-tenths of a second that i have your attention, i whisper: i love you. something you never heard me say.

and still never will. your eyes never made contact with mine. your vision is locked on someone just past me. and a smile creeps across your face. i recognize that smile. i look down into my glass.

tomorrow is another day. 366. and counting.