Important Things

for C

I cruise the restroom looking for a man
who used to meet me here on Wednesdays,
I step into the back stall, turn the lock, wait.

Finally, a bang on my door:
Police. It’s time to finish up.
I flush and leave, walking under his gaze

to the sink. No paper towels.
I wipe my hands on my jeans.

Where had Mr. Wednesday gone?
Back to his wife. Or maybe he moved.

It’s been three years since C rested
his head on my chest,
expelling a sparrow’s worth of breath
as I closed my eyes.

What I would ask him now—
Will you sit on my childhood porch
and clink bottles of beer?

We could talk about the important things,
like the best color to paint the chairs.
Or how I’m finally ready. Not dropping
his hand when the neighbors walk past.

Mickie Kennedy (he/him) is a gay writer who resides in Baltimore County, Maryland with his family and a shy cat that lives under his son’s bed. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Threepenny Review, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Nimrod, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. A finalist for the 2023 Pablo Neruda Prize, he earned an MFA from George Mason University.

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