A student once asked me:
“People say you know when you know.
So: How do you know?”
I don’t know.
I just know that
There are 101 miles
Between Union Station in Worcester, Massachusetts
And Union Station in New Haven, Connecticut
I know that
The first class
In a course of study
Is labeled 101
I know that
My voice was so shaky on our first real date
I opted not to speak much
You bought me a sandwich.
With too much red onion.
Bold, for a first date.
But the second we stepped out onto the cobblestone street
I knew we could spend years that way
Giving of ourselves to sustain the other
Not because we need it
But because we can.
I know that I spent the summers before you
Driving down Highway 101
And that your favorite Ben Rector song
Says that it’s just minutes and highways
‘Til the one I love
I know that I wore a Red Sox hat the day of our first kiss
At a bus station
Navy blue bill meeting your Yankee forehead
It seems I’m always getting in my own way
I know that the Dunkin Donuts at Union Station
Cup of coffee
But I bought it anyway
To hold the warmth of a city 101 miles away
In my hands
For as long as I could.
I know that I remember the day one of my friends said
I think they found the gay gene
Thank God, there’s an explanation for this.
101 miles isn’t enough.
I remember the first time
That I knew that I knew
That women were beautiful
Altar girl. Scripture reader.
Enrobed in cotton, white, thou shalt not.
I know that I had butterflies every day
For the first year
And that my eyes watered
Next to the water
Where New Haven’s busses pull in
I know that the you I will soon leave for New Haven in the mornings
Is the you that always waited for me
At the New Haven station
And I know that those 101 miles
Are beginning to feel like
Photo courtesy of Drew Makepeace, Flickr Creative Commons