"ODE TO CARMEN" by Saffron Maeve

May 19, 2019

My friend
Where are you?
The universe is swallowing me up
And I don’t know who to be
I am translucent and frightened 
Not like you
Not like a hazy dream
With pink hues and echoing laughter 
But like a ghost
I am surface on most days 
And on others
I am too much
I write not to burden you with the task of handling me
But I can’t help feeling
That you understand this life
That you too feel both too much and not enough
That the world is just big
So big that your whimpers echo throughout the buzz of a busy city
If a tree falls in the forest, but no one is there to hear it
Did it fall?
Did you fall?
My friend
I am worried
This life is not an easy one
But you always made it look so simple
There is nothing mundane about you
I suppose that’s why I cared so much
The other day
I saw a mannequin in a store 
Statuesque and wearing a long red dress
I thought of you
How you would not hesitate
We stroll through Bowery at night
I look over at you
A world away
And yet
There you are
You hear music
I hear it too, just not in the same way
Where I hear a song
Played much too often 
Bouncing its way from car to car 
Until the buzz of the busy city becomes a wail
You hear an invitation 
So you run to its source
I say we should take the stairs
You smile
Looking up at the fire escape
You’re fearless
We sit on a window ledge
Looking out at our world
You say something about the twinkling stars
All I see is smog
In one hand
You hold a glass of wine
In the other 
A tatty cigarette
You don’t care that you’re overdressed
And that we don’t know anyone here
You exist
And that’s enough for you
It’s been years
Where are you?
Who are you?
Do you resent your desk job?
Are you on Broadway?
Do you still love your mom?
I hope that time has treated you well 
That you’re not as scared as I am
But then again
You never were
How I longed to be you
To possess the presence of a socialite
With forty dollars to her name
To never have to wonder
“What if”
A cluster of feather boas
And obscure film references 
The life of every party
My love, if there ever was such a thing
I miss you
Can you still see the stars through the smog?

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