Not “It Had to be You,” as in the Frank Sinatra song,
not pre-determined as that, but still
someone planned your fate back in the Dark Ages.
It was written up and pasted on plaster walls,
horns sounded its essence. Through swamps and mosquitoes,
fog climbing into boats,
the landing at Normandy, the kiss in the snowy parking lot,
it was always meant to be you.
Candles were lit in tiny red jars for you.
Buddha woke beneath the Bodhi tree.
You recited the Kama Sutra
and eyeglass cases snapped open. For you, leaves fell
onto the backs of soldiers lying in the Argonne woods,
the whippoorwill sang, the mouse ran up the clock,
a white stallion galloped across the plains of inner America,
Broadway’s lights rose. It was always
meant to be you who looked up from the windows of an upstairs bedroom,
named cats “Kaleidoscope” and “Mr. Dalton” and “A Shot in the Dark,”
who dressed like someone never forgetting to refill the blue salt shaker,
teased poems from parked cars,
took prayers from small blue frogs with their tongues extended,
who wept so little your eyes dried out,
filled breathless intervals.
bore a chalice down a small church aisle.
Not the phantom pop song woman who could be almost anyone,
or the woman floating in a veil of sentiment,
but the specific you who cracks her toes at night,
lisps saying “sexual,” dances on linoleum floors,
believes that history has purposes beyond red sofa couch cushions.
It was always meant to be you.
until the stores roll up their awnings on Forever Avenue,
the million-million bodhisattvas have no one left to save.
© Dick Allen