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Sounds Retained

It's silly,
but I know the sound of your shoes.

I don't know how,
it was summer,
but the rustle of your spiffy sneakers
against the whimpering leaves
on the cold, hard pavement
has imprinted itself on my brain.
All that time,
waiting in anticipation,
the anticipation that transcended
the minutes waiting for your arrival,
the anticipation that I remember as
daysmonthsyears sitting on that couch
waiting for you.
All that time, I'd sit,
trying to focus on my murder mystery
without finishing a page, never mind a sentence,
too focused on the sounds I expected.
Your lofty gate a few houses down,
drawing closer and closer,
crunching louder and louder,
yet somehow growing softer and softer into my chest,
followed by the short grunt,
perhaps the flick of a lighter,
or the scrape of your purple kicks
squashing a cigarette butt into the ground,
and then,
finally,
the double buzz of my phone,
confirming your return.

You've stopped walking by as often,
as anyone would expect you would,
and the double buzz ceased eons of tales ago,
replaced by an updated triple buzz
to accompany updated infatuates.
But there are times when I'm up at night,
no longer idly killing time, but pulling out hairs
over an assignment I should've started weeks ago,
when the leaves crunch
in their oddly specific way,
and I smile a hello
that you'll never receive.





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