What I Am To You Is Not Real

I’m sure, at home, you’re the nicest of men, and you meet responsibilities straight on in the stickiest of fashions, like jammed bread on a linoleum floor. I could bet that you do. I lose almost all bets though, betting which characters die or who wins singing competitions, like I have impeccable tact, could pick a girl by her shampoo out of a crowd and make her Blake Lively. Actually, my knowledge base makes for a mediocre CV and I could blame Isle of Wight careers’ advisers or the religious persuasion of schools I went to when I didn’t know who George Clooney was, but I made each decision, and the only problem was impressing, in the people I tried to impress with each application.

So, against you, in a bathroom, or close the way contestants are, lit un-make-upped, in your category, houses or on tour, I wouldn’t want approval, because I have fathers for that and ex-boyfriends who keep in touch with up-to-date moral codes and thin disguises, but I know when a book’s not a book but a prerogative. And you, you nice home man, are diabolic.

And when you find yourself saying, “Confidence is your only problem,” wonder if you ever knew how not to be confident, if you ever felt how it is to hold convictions lighter than plastic bags in movies which won awards but actually, commented on time as it passed, and now, its trademarked stars are good for reunions and sequels and album titles, but not quite the singularity once anticipated of them. And you, also, stand example of a time in which we wanted only the forgiveness of a person completely inept at giving it, in public.

A Flashback Shows Jack on The Plane

I looked for you but you were someone else. Your name was the same, uppers and lowers in the right places. The photo couldn’t lie the way some do: I’ve seen a professional go to work and smooth broken skin like custard.

You reminded me of islands in your absence. I was the water and the land and the lighthouses and lifeboats; you were somewhere else.

None of my tools mattered, weren’t solutions like prayer is in some sectors or helplines can be for right problems. My words fit crosswords but not the hole in your lip or your nose bridge or your left hip, more prominent than the right.

I imagined ransoms and a man search and a bot crawling through pages, lists, numbers, parsing your constructions.

My cursor didn’t pop on your name, didn’t flash your profile. It sat simply, like the internet did in the nineties, and you became Benjamin Allen, the next one.