Photo by Brennen Bariso / North by Northwestern

If you're reading this and you think you might be one of the people being described, please contact the author at [email protected]


We passed each other near the Arch

last Tuesday, during the heatwave of January

when Apollo decided to bring the sun a little closer

for a few days.

Almost 11 a.m., you had brown hair

no jacket, just a striped sweater.

I was wearing a cherry-colored coat, unzipped.

It was hot but you were very, very cool.

We met at a party in December

I wasn't sure if you remembered me, but

you gave me an unexpected smile

and I wish we stopped to chat.

The next day

the sun was just a dimple in the gray sky.


Up in the stacks of the library

during reading week last quarter,

I piled up some heavy books to rest my computer on

so I could do my work standing up.

Old tomes,

tales of water spirits and French economics textbooks.

We made eye contact more times than I can count.

There was no reason for you to walk by me on your way out

but you did.

You probably didn't realize that

in the black border of my laptop

I caught the reflection of you looking back at me.

Compelled by my friend, I raced out toward the elevators

to see if I could catch you, but

like magnets colliding

the doors shut and

you were gone.

If you remember me in the same way,

If we switched bodies and you would do the same thing,

tell me the two words written on the back of my shirt

so I know it's you.


We had never met, apparently,

until we were introduced by a friend

in the middle of Norbucks.

You roused in me

memories of someone I

must have known years ago, but

like a vagabond, I cannot find a place for you.

A quick introduction

turned into hours of feeling so close

I believe that I have

always known you.

I am writing this because I have been too afraid to approach you since then.

If I type these words specifically for you

and you happen to see them

does that mean it's fate?