Her name was Annie and I told her I was hungry. She knew exactly what I meant, for she was a feast of being. I lived above her, downtown, in a building of six. It was the only time she could ever look up at me. She was a triple water sign, but i only flooded her apartment twice. The first time was my shower; the second, my kitchen sink. I won an Oscar playing her fool. Years later I sent her a poem but all I could muster was “Annie is”. Enclosed was a garlic stem I deemed pretty. Her gaze sent ripples through your soul. Her presence a gift brought down by a Sherpa. When she departed, that poor building missed her.
Paint would dry as i snailed cross her landing. Sometimes, I knocked but it was always a whisper. A brushing of fingertips, like a dare between children. Her door was thick as solid as ancient. It told me it could open, but it needed a reason.
One bright day, a stone lion basked outside a tall building. I would occasionally sit on the lion’s back. We would watch the driver’s speeding past and urge them to wake up! Suddenly a driver yanked his car out of traffic, bewildered, he beckoned me over asking, “Who are you?” My answer meant nothing. I was already running home to tell Annie my will had stopped traffic. Knock, knock, and knock. The door opened as promised. Tea was served my lips can still taste. She listened to me brag patiently. For my amazing was Annie’s everyday. Even her dog was my elder. He stared at me through eyes of pity that made me feel welcome.
To say I loved her would be shallow and dopey. This was more of a deep respect like that you pay a giant bear in a forest. Where eye contact is out of the question. But in the periphery growled raw, naked wisdom. Annie told me to write and listen to candles. I still sit up straight at the thought of her.
One day, barefoot, I kicked a raised slab of concrete. Deep thumps of pain began their steady pounding. I hobbled home peering through a moist vision. Almost waiting for me, she sat me on the steps and rubbed her hands together blowing. My foot kept pounding; I swear she could hear it. She cupped her hands around my big toe and so began a conversation. I couldn't hear every word. My toe relayed its story. Her hands seemed to listen. There was no argument. The pain simply agreed it was mistaken. Heartbeats of heat hummed in from long slender fingers. I tried to tell her how amazing it was but you could tell she had heard it all before. Maybe that’s why I stopped my pen at “Annie Is”.