I am here to tell you yes. I am here to tell you, uh-huh. I am here to write, that’s right. Um-hmm. Oh yeah. Don’t give up. Yes, yes, yes. It is possible to fall in love with someone. To mean it, to want it. Someone so extraordinary, you keep asking him, are you real? Stop asking him that, you scold yourself. But he is. He’s not turning into a porcupine or a swan or a tree.
The rain—-that’s real too. It comes out of the gutters and down to the subway and into the street. It’s bubbling, cold, and white. You’re wandering on the West Side, looking for an apartment number, and everything’s under construction, fronted with scaffolding and big plywood overhangs. Under one of them, across the dark rain shadows and silver sidewalk puddle, you see someone coming toward you: another girl in flip-flops, bare legs wet to the knees, and we give each other the broadest smiles.
In the night, a thunderclap so loud through the open window--wind blowing out the curtain--you gasp yourself awake, suck in air, and sit up in bed, holding your chest, wondering if your heart has stopped. No, it’s started again.
Don’t settle, a year ago, a friend made me swear over the phone. Don’t give up. June and I was packing boxes upstairs in the hot-box of a house. The plaster-dust floorboards, the brass bed. I packed and I picked up the phone—-my only actions. She made me swear, and I swore it. Don’t give up.
He is real, the man you run to in bare feet across a parquet floor with a red carnation in your hair. It is real, the way you feel, what you want.
I will be there when you come home. I will throw down the keys to you. I will sit through twenty-four innings of baseball in the rain with you. I will search all over the island for a soda (and find it!) for you. I will turn June into July for you. I want to kiss you in all of your twenty-one shirts.
For you, and for me too.