Leveler Poetry Journal
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The Way It Was


I kiss the dog-eared pages of your existence, knowing

it wasn’t you who made the folds.

It wasn’t the Raffi look-alike

who traded Oriental accordion fans for old cassette tapes

in the attic of his uptown apartment building,

nor was it the fruit vendor who sold papayas and mangoes

outside my grandmother’s window

or the nanny who made crustless peanut butter and honey sandwiches

and rain sticks out of the insides of paper towel rolls,

listening to Bantu dance music,

or the person you fell in love with on a Wednesday afternoon

before a pink and green laser show, your bodies touching

like it was a coincidence,

or the solitary log in the fire, peacefully disintegrating,

willfully and voluntarily, only minutes before the sunrise,

or the absence of clocks and calendars,

the destruction of that creeping Charlie,

the hierarchy of moments.

Lauren Elizabeth Raheja