the four corners of love and belonging

See the tall girl
standing on the corner
a cell phone to her ear

Oblivious to the traffic
rushing by
a boy
talking in her ear

He tells her
“I love you”
but she doesn’t
believe it

She turns west
and hears him say
he can’t live without her

She turns east
and he says
please don’t leave

When she looks down
at the ground
is that south?

Up at the sky
north?

He keeps talking
pleading
wheedling
whining
but she stopped listening
long ago

Behind dark sunglasses
she quints at the bright sunlight
of a Los Angeles afternoon

It’s after she throws the phone
as it skips along the hot tar
and is run over a few times

she realizes
her mistake all along
has been looking for love
from without instead of
from within

(D. James)