He knows the first Manhattan better than I,
but it was the second Manhattan he introduced me to.
There's pizza in both places.
We'd eaten slices in the former Manhattan, but at different times in our lives.
In the second Manhattan, we ate in one another's company.
Large, slender slices dripped from double layered paper plates,
with parmesan soaking up the delicious grease.
I took a fork to the meal, and he was quick to take it from my hand,
instructing me to pick up the slice and fold it into a half.
Like a New Yorker, he said.
Like you, I thought.
It was breakfast, and we were within the perfect hole in the wall,
peering over a large counter, me holding tightly to his arm.
And, at the table, checkered red and white,
he sat across from me, sleep still in his eyes.
I said something, and it took his breath away.
He shook his head, laughing, before looking at me,
mouth slightly ajar,
his mind searching for the words,
but all he could do was take my hand and tell me that I am something else.
The first Manhattan would have been cold by then due to the changing season,
but ours was warm.
That weekend was warm.
Not just in the sun, but in our hearts.
One last blessed Saturday,
with pizza for breakfast,
and a book we would read aloud to one another,
whilst lazily soaking up the sun,
and one another's company.
I pulled away from him, sitting up upon the sand, with him alongside me, pulling
I clicked my fingers as if I were holding a camera,
taking a photo with my mind's eye.
There was a quiet tension we both could feel,
and I know this because he named it in the evening as the day
unraveled itself around us.
We were unraveling, too.
We just couldn't admit to it quite yet.
The water was cold, and he threw himself in it,
I stepped away from the tide.
It was not his Manhattan, not the one he's known a while.
It wasn't mine either,
I wouldn't claim it if I could.
I've since returned to the hole in the wall.
It was an accident, stumbling upon its doorway one afternoon
with a friend who'd brought me along.
The brief role it played in my life like a ghost of something I must have never known,
and only heard stories about.
The sun was hazy, unlike the Saturday we'd shared.
Though how clearly I saw everything then, on a Tuesday,
the water still cold,
with the air still warming all around, and in my heart.