You Never Got Back to Me

Alec Solomita

You never got back to me
to say why you never got back to me.

I remember it like yesterday.
Fat snowflakes floated sideways
in front of the Border Café.
We sort of half-hugged like newish friends do.
Your backpack held some leftover tamales,
and Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table.

Were you embarrassed by my clumsiness with the menu?
I think I was supposed to put the chicken on the pan
into the flat bread on my plate. But that would
be trivial, no? To end a promising friendship over a fajita?
I’ve learned a lot since then. Fajita means “little belt.”
Tamales originated in Mesoamerica between 8000 and 5000 B.C.E.

Maybe it was something else. A grown-up story or two online.
But you, a college student in the year of our Lord 2012,
would presumably suffer no vapors over sex.
After all, you’re tough, a girl boxer, winner of excruciating
spelling bees, memoirist of caustic honesty.

Or maybe it was just my pleasure in the noisy family
by our table and a loud round-headed toddler I called
“a little cowboy.” Your lips bent in disdain and you said,
“I don’t like children very much.”

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