You did not notice, but you walked past a diner where I was having pizza last night.

There was not a lot to say about the sauce.
All I can think about are the bell peppers.
Only that they are prickly crimson, and
they leave a familiar bittersweet
that was both sublime
and slightly suggestive.
Aroma, slightly reminiscent of
the better-attended streets of Manila;
oh, how they reminded me of your naked spine
and the apartment we once shared.
At least, they kept curiosity alive.

Your eyes were the same even after thirty years—
inviting as they are compelling,
and like lighthouses I would follow them,
thinking they would lead me home.

I remembered there was no home in us,
no room, no shelter, nor solace in us.
There was only the every-day weather,
and the occasional delusion
that we could survive the coming storms
with contempt and crossed arms.

(We didn’t.)

— A. P.


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