STRANGER WITH THE BILLBOARD SMILE

You showed up like a one man search crew

A 6 foot answer

To a question I never opened my mouth to ask

You tiptoed in on feet made of tambourines

I never knew you were coming

Suddenly you were just... here

And I could not remember what it was like when you weren't

A perfect stranger, with a billboard smile

As if to say, oh, it's you,

It's nice to see you again

You asked what I thought about gratitude

Like you knew I'd just learned its meaning

I said I didn't know

That maybe it took time for it to catch up to us

And I wondered if you'd been running all this time

You were the most unassuming lighthouse I'd ever seen

The loudest silence, the brightest shadow

I was a little kid again scrambling for a place to set myself down

You, a good hiding spot

A familiar place to wander back to,

Certainty

I thought about checking the dictionary

Just to see if you were the picture next to its definition

Ironic that I would find you among words

Nestled between metaphors

Like back washed poems I'd written when I was fifteen

Dreaming up someone

That wouldn't point out my return label

 

Thank you for being the first one to tear up the receipt.