my Valentine

by richibi

"A Bouquet of Roses" (1879) - Pierre-Auguste Renoir

A Bouquet of Roses” (1879)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir


happy Valentine’s Day, Apollo said
over the phone at about ten this morning

hi, I said, can I call you back

I’ll call you back later, he answered

roger, we agreed, out

later he called to say it again, I found it
amusing, verging on charming, but later
still when we met serendipitously on the
street, where he’d sensed it would
imminently happen, though it hardly ever
does, he appeared bathed in golden light,
crossing the street towards me beaming,
very, indeed, Apollo, cutting a path
through the traffic and throng

I, of course, melted as I usually do, but
managed to hold onto my bags

happy Valentine’s Day again, he said,
I’d’ve bought you a rose, he suggested,
but they’re in bunches today, fifteen
dollars, that seemed excessive

where would I put them anyway, I

we talked about a sign up saying, help,
I’ve fallen for you and I can’t get up, I’d
seen at the market, which, along with
the crush of roses and people on the
streets, had been enlivening, inspiring,

you could say it back, he said

you haven’t said it in seventeen years,
I retorted, I tried it back then several
times but it never seemed to work, I
gave up

I knew you’d say that, he contritely
replied, playing sheepishly along

okay, I said, happy Valentine

and I love you

I love you too, he replied

we embraced

the trees were sporting cherry

birds, I think, sang