I think of you when I see:
oranges, pickles, pizza, and salmon,
red leaves, 3-man tents, windbreakers, and mallets,
hiking boots, funny ties, ironed white shirts…
birthday cards and Christmas cookies,
wedding dresses and shoe polish,
post-cards, preachers, presents...
When I think of you I say
"Do you remember…"
"Today I saw,
And I hold a conversation in my head:
"Do you remember:
making orange juice with me on Saturdays when I was five?
camping in the fall and reheating leftover pizza on the tent space-heater?
me sitting on your lap, connecting the dots on your constellation tie?
dancing with me at your sister's wedding?
chatting on the phone on Friday nights when I was in college,
you were at home,
and we were both bored senseless?"
And you laugh in my head, or thoughtfully nod, or echo conversations we had long ago
("I want you to be happy, so I'll support you in anything you choose to pursue."
"No matter what I choose?"
"Well, we'll try to make sure it's the best possible choice."
"Of course. Only the best."
"That's all I've ever wanted for you.")
Well, today I saw a picture of us next to my reflection in the mirror,
and I heard a song that played when you went away,
and I realized how long it had been since you knew me,
and I wondered what memories we could have made in that time.
…And you laughed in my head, and nodded thoughtfully, and echoed a conversation we had long ago
("At least you remembered. It's not ideal, but it's something.")
It's something, and when it happens I smile, and pretend you aren't gone…
…but you were right: it's not ideal; no matter what,
I miss you.