I could never write you a poem. I’m not a poet. Maybe that’s why.
But if I did I’m sure you wouldn’t read it. Or, at least, you wouldn’t want to. If it was long, you wouldn’t finish it. Or, at least, you wouldn’t want to.
And it’s for the best that I’m not a poet, because I find it hard to believe you’d like to see yourself through my eyes. I don’t think you’d want to see what I do and don’t know of you and how I do and don’t twist your body, words, actions around in my mind.
But I can say here, now, not to you or anyone in particular, is that I stayed up all night, hopped up on something sure, but I’ve been coming down for a while now. The only thing that’s kept me up, as the sun is rising and kept me out of my bed leaving me just a few hours to sleep before a shitty, busy day at work, is something that belongs to you.
At first I was just trying to fix it for you, see if it was working. And it sort of was. Sort of is. But I’m disgusting when it comes to you, and you probably know that. I wish you didn’t. I went through it. Things that have no relevance to me and my life. Things that don’t make any sense. A work evaluation and salutations in a hallway. Awful rustling sounds. A four second clip. And it was thrilling. And I’ll listen to them again. And I’ll try and pinpoint the days that they were recorded. Because your voice intrigues me beyond belief. Because it’s a treat to observe you without risk of being obvious. Because I can pick out when I started to get to know you, and my memories of you are things I constantly revisit, even as I make more.
There is nothing beautiful about it. I’m most certainly ashamed. But it’s there, and I’m doing it. And I’d stop if you told me to, but you never will because you’ll never know.
It was summer, and Sam was at the river. She had come alone in the morning with a small, packaged loaf of bread and a sketch pad. Upon her arrival she paused as two things had immediately become clear: she hadn’t brought anything to sketch with and absolutely no one was at the river. There were the ducks, of course, and a spotty dog with a fluffy tail, but as far as Sam was concerned that was still no one. She didn’t waste her breath on a sigh, and resumed her long strides towards the river. The spotty dog met her on the way there. It was friendly and, thankfully, dry. It was also a bit too playful. Sam made a point of ignoring it as it became more rambunctious, though she wasn’t quite sure the dog understood. She would have preferred to sit on the riverbank, feet in the water, but the dog was large enough to knock her over if it so chose, so she stood on the riverbank instead, feet dry. Tearing the loaf of bread into smaller pieces in the bag, she decided she would name the ducks before feeding them. The white duck furthest upstream became Reginald. The green-headed duck became Phil. The brown duck with the intact bill became Henry, and the brown duck missing the better part of his bill became Bill, Billy for short. The other white duck became Albert. Sam wasn’t sure she’d be able to tell the difference between Reginald and Albert if she really must. She resolved to keep a close eye on them. The naming settled, the ducks all watching her, she was finally ready. The first two pieces of bread she threw into the river sent the ducks swarming. Bill and Albert were the first to get there. She distributed most of the bread quickly and evenly, but Phil insisted on eating more than his fair share. Frustrated, she took a few steps back, nearly tripping over the dog who was anxiously patrolling the riverbank, thrilled with the hullabaloo. Reginald, the most severely slighted by Phil, stuck to the outside of the ruckus, watching Sam. She threw a piece of bread just for him, and he ate it. She took another step back and threw him another piece. He ate that one, too. She paused for a moment holding the last piece of bread, wondering if that had evened things out. Reginald was still watching her, paddling as close to her as he could in anticipation. She threw the last piece of bread onto the ground in front of her, not stepping back as she did before. Reginald leapt onto the riverbank with surprising grace and seized the bread. As he did, the dog seized Reginald and with a surprising absence of grace, chewed on him until he died. The commotion sent the other ducks scattering. Sam picked up the bread Reginald had dropped after becoming very busy with dying. She chucked it into the river as far as she could. Bill got it. She decided Bill was probably her favorite. Tomorrow she would come back with more bread and something to sketch with. And maybe there would be someone at the river.
Ducks 7.172nd Draft
Untitled 7.152nd Draft