You took me to a mall for a first date--
(not the first date, just an early one)
--an outdoor, open air, sprawling mall.
While I wanted to hold hands, window shop,
be seen together,
you let got of my hand
to flip off hay bales
climb across benches and concrete planters,
not to impress me, but just because
that’s what you did.
I was just starting to see myself as
a girlfriend, your girlfriend
(I painted my nails, which I never do)
so I wondered if I should worry about
you letting go, running off.
Yesterday, three and a half years later,
you took me to another mall,
to see a “scary ass escalator”
(your actual, not joking, words).
We stood side by side on said escalator
rising, slow and steady, across the
mall’s empty interior courtyard, up to the fourth floor
(it really is long). From the top we could see
the few stores inside, shoppers who looked lost,
a lot of open spaces.
We held hands while we walked back down,out into the cool spring air.