Still Me, Always You


Still Me, Always You

A poem by Adrian Patenaude


I see myself in snapshots,
You in intimate gestures:

Eleven-year-old me
Persistent You
Me, old enough for cynicism
You, rushing in like hot bath water

Twenty-year-old me
Resenting You
Oblivious my grip is bruising You
Too scared to let You go

Twenty-two-year old me
Limp hand secure in Yours
Hoping you won't acknowledge
My half-step lag

You begged me to look at You
But I hadn’t earned that right
Meeting Your gaze felt sacred
And I profane––

Best friend’s bear hug
Papa’s wrestling hold
First crush’s touch
You embraced me 
With every love I’ve known

I recognize myself in snapshots,
You by Your intimate gestures

Lately, it’s still me
Twenty-four years old
Standing at Your door
Afraid to knock