a love letter to the parrots

I moved to Amsterdam in August and wrote this poem in my first week here. A lot has changed, everything is better, i don’t miss anyone, and it turns out there are parrots in this strange city (right outside my apartment window, even). They remind me that there is good in everything. Maybe reading my words will help you in some way xx

the parrots fly around us
a black and green feather drifts down and lands on the tip of my nose
its curve like a smile.
when i get home i don’t brush my teeth because my mouth tastes more like you than it has in months.
this is how it was always supposed to happen
an obvious ending.
yes it’s only two hours but distance can be measured in more than kilometers or gas station stops.
the green car keeps circling my table but the driver averts his eyes when i try to look through the stained glass of his window and all i hear is his engine and the music, the parrots.
i can’t drive through the tunnels without thinking of you and most times i open my mouth and speak my mind
and by that i mean i say your name
what i am really saying is that your name is always on my mind, your name is my mind and my mind is your name. i have decided long ago not to fight this.
I say your name and it is my way of speaking our relationship into existence
it is like a reminder to the gods:
look- we are on first name basis,
we randomly bring each other up in conversations,
strangers don’t do these things!
strangers don’t do these things.
strangers don’t show up at each other’s doorsteps looking for balconies or closure.
i spent a day thinking of everything but you until i stepped into the train station and saw the piano
and heard the man sing
and smelled your cologne on a passing stranger
and i realized that i had not spent the day thinking of everything but you
but that i had spent the day distracting myself from thoughts of you
while my heart spent the day-as it spends most days- beating in tune to the sound of your name in my mind.
it is the one thing my heart and mind can agree on: your name.
there are no parrots in this strange city, and the cars that could be yours have blue license plates
and sometimes the cigarette smoke reminds me of you
and sometimes i wonder if the cigarette stubs are still where you left them outside my front door.
my hands hold things now as i walk through the streets, past the canals: cameras and books that reek of age, or umbrellas or a new ring of keys
and i shudder at the thought of everything they held before: dog leashes and rotten apples and your hands most of all
i shudder at the thought of ever having let go of your hands, at the thought that there is no image of the moment i let go of them for the last time, no memory.
i eat the tiramisu i lick the chocolate powder off the plate i close my eyes and try not to see your eyes in my coffee that is too bitter, too strong, dark
and i miss the parrots but most of all i miss you in this strange city

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