He told me he did not want to grow old alone.
His future was something he had written
like this: wife, kids, maybe a dog, and a job
that pays him with contentment. He told me this
with his hands giving away the excitement
he tried to hide with his deep voice.
His left thumb kept the other four fingers
close to his palm. These were the same fingers
that brought cigarettes between his lips,
and I wished countless times to be
a white stick worth some coins
in exchange for a kiss.
I wanted to be a part of his plans so badly.
But that night, over dinner, as he went on
and I watched his thumb slowly release
the other fingers beneath it, I was afraid
I was not cut out for someone who has plans
of contentment and certainty when my feet
don’t agree with each other most of the time;
who is so sure about the years ahead
when I’m just trying to make it to tomorrow;
who knows exactly where the doors he opens
lead to, when I love squeezing myself into
windows and losing sleep trying to figure out
why I could not get in.
He stopped talking and asked me what
I thought my future was going to be.
And I could have racked my brains
for something he would like, something
that fit well with his: husband, kids, maybe
a dog, and a life of no regrets. But I knew
he and his plans were windows I could never
Hannah is a third year Creative Writing student at UP Mindanao. Bill Gates did not pay her to title her poem this way.