His name was Jack Johnson and he was a summer shade.
More like a summer breeze,
Cool like that.
He was a nice cool down in the summer
But not necessarily a nice guy.
Not a nice guy at all. I mean,
He wasn’t mean or angry or would punch you for looking at him twice
Or nothing like that but he might just
Tell you to stop laughing so loud
Or ask why you dress the way you do.
And I was in love with him, of course
Because I always fall in love with shadow men
Who keep parts of themselves hidden from me until the sun
Hits them just right
Because I’m really
Like that. And he, Jack Johnson, was perfect for me.
He held my hand, not because he wanted to,
But because I wanted to
And he bought me dessert at American restaurants and
Always let me have the last bite.
And when we cuddled, his body curved around mine like a question mark
Though I was certainly no answer.
Jack Johnson had a mustache and a beard and legs like
Redwoods and eyes like lychee.
Clouded and bright and wet.
“If you were a food you’d be some fancy French dessert that I couldn’t pronounce”
He told me once.
And you’d be milk, I thought.
And how I love cream.
When we spoke on the phone he sighed a lot.
Breathing out everything he couldn’t say and inhaling everything I could.
I confided in Jack Johnson
And drank him up in any form that I could consume.
When the barista asked for his name he’d say
“Jake, Jack, Joe, whatever’s easiest for you to write.”
I like to think it was his way of saying he was barely a man at all.
Only half man
And half the dark side of a concrete building.
When we were close,
He could only ever look into my eyes.
The warmth between our bodies wasn’t a fire, it was a gas oven
Left on long after we’d left the house.
“Say my name,” he’d whisper.
Tell it to me, I’d think.
He slept without blankets, he hated movies, and he took prescription drugs.
Jack Johnson made fun of me when I bought knick knacks.
He would always ask me what I
Would do with them.
He didn’t get the point of things that weren’t useful.
I joked that I wished he loved cute little things the way that I do and he responded
“Well I love you.”
And I smiled and cried
And sipped on his half truth like hot tea with extra cream.