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Even Though I Never Look for You
Andrea Marcusa

I see you each time I hike thirteen blocks north to the New York’s Conservatory Gardens where you and I once visited when the magnolias were blooming in a sea of pinks and whites against an azure April sky and you pointed to one tree with tiny, shriveled buds after our harsh winter and said it was a Tulip Magnolia, and in its weakened state probably wouldn’t survive the City’s summer heat. 

I see you if I spot white roses, especially when honeybees are buzzing their petals and remember how you never worried about stings. 

I think of you when I do the Sunday crossword and get stuck on a seven-letter word for atomic particle. And if a meteor shower is forecast on my weather app. You’re always the first person I think of when a cold front moves in and the temperature drops to single digits. And when I stomp on spidery web-like white ice with my boot heel, the way you showed me.

 

I think of you when I find a penny on the sidewalk and then remember the time, right after you left, when I spotted, under the limbs of Japanese Maple heaped with snow, a red woollen cap that looked just like the one gave to you last winter.  

I think of you on Easter when I saw a sparrow on a limb of a chestnut tree and it looked down at me with that intelligent but slightly critical stare.

I think of you each time I take the train and see your stop and don’t get off, or when I eat steamers on a dock dip the flesh into melted butter 

But, if I saw you again, I don’t know what I’d say to you. 

Andrea Marcusa’s work has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Cutbank, River Styx, River Teeth, Citron Review, and others. She’s received recognition in a range of competitions, including Glimmer Train, Raleigh Review, New Letters and Southampton Review. For more information, visit: andreamarcusa.com or see her on Twitter @d_marcusa