I think I met you at least five times.
We began with glances,
dissatisfied with the shreds we saw of the other.
itched our assuming eyes.
I often think, We just didn’t know.
I met you as a friend,
a kind of knowing as common as a handshake,
and as valuable as plastic.
The pliant falsity didn’t bother us.
I met you as a comrade.
Here we were, lost and tossed
by the tumultuous downpours of our own souls.
Plastic is waterproof
but thank goodness we were fabric by then.
Both our doors opened.
I met you as my love,
a love that roots so deep in my being that when you move,
I feel the tugs.
I met you, and fell and soared in the same moment.
That’s when I realized reason isn’t real—you are.
I met you as a person.
Someone who is not mine, even though
I still feel the tugs.
I met you as someone who continues to introduce me to myself
on a daily basis.
I’m still learning what this means.
I met you as a memory.
As an idea that exists translucent
in the back corners of my heart
sacred, and scared
to see the light that burns.
A memory that lives and breathes and rolls over
and brushes teeth and runs out the door
I’m just not there to know it.
We met each other in being
Aware, disgruntled, intrigued, and excited
By this existence.
Bren Lanphear is a purveyor of stories and a curious intellectual at heart. Her zealous belief in the power of narrative and the mystery of lived experience continually lead her to a variety of storytelling endeavors, including poetry and filmmaking, not to mention a heap of lively conversations. She lives and works in Santa Barbara, at a visual communication and video production agency aimed at creatively releasing media to make an impact.