You stood on the concourse, ready to depart
with Diesels, red hoody, and me.
But not me.
She was awkward, overweight.
“We’re going to Hawaii to think about this relationship,” you say,
arm around this other version of myself
as I stand on the curb, seeing you off.
“Verdict upon return.”
Years later, I entered a gallery filled with your paintings.
The air thrummed with glamorous people, admiring your opening.
I was shocked to find a piece of which I was the subject.
And I was stunning.
You greeted me, rolled up the painting, gave it to me
When I tried to leave, they told me I would have to pay for it.
The price was more than I could ever afford.
You wrote me a poem that said,
with me you felt
something that was not loneliness.
But later I realized.
The lack of loneliness
is not the same thing
J.M. Roddy is a freelance and fiction writer living in the Seattle area. Portrait by Daniel F. Rice.