We meet at the stop sign
every time I drive down the mountain
to my job in the valley
and every time you drive up the mountain
for afternoon classes.
We don’t talk anymore
and I don’t know why.
Last year we talked for hours
every day in art class, and I thought
we were becoming friends,
or possibly more.
You told me about the painting
you saw each day at the Art Institute,
how Hans Hofmann’s shapes yielded
to one another.
I saw a wall of golden color:
red and orange pulled me in,
blue pushed me away.
At the grocery store
your smile was wide
when we bumped into each other.
I walked into chapel one morning
to find you staring at me
and you whispered to your friend
when you saw me blush.
One day you cornered me by my still life
and drew so close
to invite me to a gallery opening.
I breathlessly agreed.
At the event you greeted me formally
as if I were a client,
as if we barely knew each other.
The next week at semester’s end
you left class without a goodbye.
On the first day of doctrine class this fall
you turned your head away
when I tried to catch your eye.
For weeks you’ve averted your gaze
and pretended I don’t exist.
I was nothing
but kind to you.
Do you remember?
I’ve considered changing my work schedule,
or driving an extra twenty minutes
down the other side of the mountain.
Why should I change for you?
I will gather my courage,
though a familiar pain stabs
each time I see you
behind my wayfarers.
You hide behind wayfarers too
when we meet at that stop sign.
Today I rolled the windows down
and blasted “Sabotage” as I passed you,
and for just a few moments
the Beastie Boys’ rage
let mine loose.