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In My Mind

For You Ahja (Again)

By Conrad IlesiaPublished about a year ago 2 min read


I fell in love

At zero hour

With the sweat coming off my bottle,

Waiting and waiting, ready to throttle.

I tried to text her again

But my fingers were numb;

I took another swig of Bud Light,

Feeling so dumb.

I swatted away the flies.


She walked in, five

Minutes late—per usual—

As, hiding it from her,

I glanced at my watch.

I said—in my mind—

Vodka water, lemon not

Lime, easy ice,

As I noticed

She was easy on the eyes.

Vodka water—she said—

Lemon not lime, easy ice,

As Derek noticed—

In my mind—

She was easy on the eyes.

I put some music on Ami.

If you change your mind,

I’ll be first in line.

Ten minutes in, she was watching chalk

And I was reading poetry.

She took her coat off,

Placed it over the back of my chair,

Said, “You know what, Steve?”

As she was crushing chalk

And I was writing poetry.


She caught me—


(Before her sister divorced me)—

Staring at the side of her face,

A love I couldn’t replace,

Our communal acts a disgrace—

My eyes down her blouse suggestive,

My open mind begging forgiveness.

Seeking not receiving understanding.

You’re forgiven only if you believe.

She heaved a sexy sigh

Before she said, “Goodbye. I

Can’t. Why’d you do it, Steve?”

And now I have two sins to confess.


It grows like

Shadows from a time-lapse camera—


Until it consumes me.

Can’t you see

Can’t you see


You’re shaking my confidence daily

You brought me in.

I made a mess

Of me. I let you reign,

Prepared to make it fresh.

You better lose yourself.


What to leave in

what to leave out



I remember lick-

ing the blades of the mixer—

filled with the soft white foamy sugar of the

Cake my mother was making

On the day before

I knew we were poor,

The next day fighting the boy

Who said we lived in The Projects.

Cecilia whispers to me

Vodka water lemon no lime

As Derek winks at me

Knowing and not knowing at once

The taste of that

Uncooked frosting

Returning, the sound of my

Grandfather’s gentle laughter resting in my ear.

And now come the lies:

I will tell you the two confessions of my sin:

One is what I left out,

One is what I let in:

Neither one is what I write about.

I swat away the flies.



About the Creator

Conrad Ilesia

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