I clack words into my phone
so I won’t forget that dog
hiding behind an umbrella, his tail
sticking out into the drizzle.
I don’t want to lose the sound
of birds’ calls echoing through the parking
garage on a Saturday morning, reverberating
as in a cavern or abandoned cathedral.
I glance up in time to avoid
collision with a man. He smiles,
and I realize the flicker of my eyes,
the scrape of my walk, our shoulders brush,
his beard just misses my temple—
I wish I knew what it felt like against my skin.
I am tired of taking inventory
of my inspiration and ideas, cataloguing
what I should be doing, not contemplating.
A woman scoffed, “Writing down ideas?
Like what, cure cancer, solve the budget crisis?
Yeah, someone should really get on those.”
And she was right.
I’m tired of being the person
who looks to fiction for a character like me
who does all the things I wish I’d do.
I’m tired of wishing I’d said yes
to the guy at the bar the other night.
I sit down and stop clacking nonsense
words into my phone, stare across the street
at the dog with its head on its paws,
waiting for its owner to finish her coffee.
I rummage through my purse for a couple dollars
to buy a cup of my own,
and I see a napkin tucked to one side—
the phone number of the guy
from the bar who slipped this inside
when I wasn’t looking
like somehow he knew that this time
I’d change my mind.