Dear Stranger on the NYC Library Steps 

by Liwen Xu

Dear Stranger on the NYC Library Steps,

the night we almost met
you tied a red scarf around our necks
and danced with me under dying stars

the burning in them reflected
my own eyes–glazed, searching. i wonder if
they ever reached you. if
the once upon a time we met
was more like how
i wish i held someone
here. on the steps of the library.
against the pocket of my favorite
green raincoat.

i don’t care if it’s raining now. don’t turn
to me with that violin stringed melody
you sing without opening your
mouth, lips hung on chipped shoulder.
hair weeping forth, amber.
i don’t need to look into your eyes
to see all of new york
spread like wildfire

i remember telling you about this city,
how i love it most when i’m as
tired as this, fever spread over
cupped hands, face heated
against cool marble. a moth
drawn to a flame. we sit
on separate steps. you sit
below me. i still wanted to dance
even when the stars above us
burned out

do you never wonder about new flames,
different grocery bags? how god
places lovers on opposite hemispheres.
how our children would be beautiful,
springing half-princes and daughters
of two lost dancers.

as you waltzed
away, red scarf trailing
in the lights

i wanted to spend the rest of my life with you

and you’ve never seen me.