It turns out they know each other. The one who broke my heart and the one who mended
it. From their youth in Corvallis. White girls. Troublemakers.
We saw her, the one who broke my heart, at the café. I told her, the one who mended
my heart, the story. How she broke it, my heart, because I loved her too much. Now
I love the one who fixed my heart more.
She told me, the one I love more, about how they ran together when they were nineteen.
How she, the one who broke my heart, was awkward and a piano virtuoso. She still is.
She told me how they loved each other's girlfriends and then each other. You can do
that when you're gay, love all your friends and their girlfriends and switch around
like that. Sometimes.
At the café, the one I love now was eating rice and beans on corn tortillas. I was
eating a Swiss Rueben on rye. I always get rye. The one I love more said I like rye
because I'm Jewish. We do that, make inappropriate jokes. To show our love and that
we can laugh at ourselves. I couldn't do that with the one who broke my heart. She
would get defensive.
I didn't see what she was eating, the one who broke my heart, because my heart was
beating too fast to look. My hands were shaking. We said hello and smiled and then,
see you later. Then we got seated behind them, the heartbreaker and her music friend
and their pit bull muts. Outside on wooden benches, like the ones in parks for picnics.
Because it turned out to be a nice day even though it had rained the night before.
When they left she told me about their past, about how she, the one I love now, left
her behind, the one who broke my heart, to move to Portland.
The one I love now broke the heart of the one who broke my heart. That made me feel
good and then shallow and then good again.
Also because the one who broke my heart looked like she just woke up and her dirty
sweatpants were pulled up to the knees. Scabs on her shins. Her dirty blonde hair,
dirty from dirt not color. Like she'd just rolled around in a sandbox. Like a little