​​​​​​A Man Who Dazzles

A Poem That Exhibits Love At First Sight


Pictures from Unsplash, Graphic by Mahawa Bangoura

Love isn’t always blind. Sometimes, it’s as clear as day.

Movie theaters always smell like popcorn.

Stain yellow, butter sprayed popcorn that make 

your fingers slide against each other because it’s so greasy.

Movie theaters also smell like sickeningly, sweet candy 

that hide in your teeth when you chew them too quickly. 

Movie theaters don’t smell like Ralph Lauren’s polo cologne set

or like a cool, refreshing shower on a hot summer evening.

But I walk by you

and I smell that you do

and I have to tilt my head, gaze again, and take another look.

I see you in your crimson red, light blue, and tangerine jacket.

Bringing inside the image of outside, wearing the same hues of the vibrant sunset.

I see you and I make a (you) turn, finding my way into your vicinity. 

I know that movie theaters 

show movies with main characters 

who have beautiful eyes.

Surely, I’ve seen the honey browns, jade greens, and ocean blues

but none of them look like yours, look like you.

You have the most crisp blue eyes I’ve ever seen, I blurt when I’m in front of you.

You smile, showing me teeth that are so straight, I think they’re unreal.

I must stop breathing, because you are breathless than before.

I want to take out my camera and snap this picture.

Capture the curve of your smile lines, the pink of your lips, the squint in your eyes

until I remember that my Nikon is at home

that today is my day off.

Yet you say, And you are dazzling.

Now I’m smiling too, but it’s not as pretty as yours.

I never got braces.

My smile is crooked.

But you smile more and my crooked smile is just enough.

There is something about you that I don’t want to lose.

What’s your name? I ask.

Wesley, you say.

Oh, I reply, trying to get the words unstuck in my throat, I am—

Dazzle, you say. You are dazzling, Dazzle.

I think you like my crooked smile, because I show you again.

I want to talk more, Wesley

but the girl next to you pulls on your arm.

Her Afro is so big it swallows her face but I see it when she looks at me.

She’s kind with doe eyes until she says you need to go.

You were here with her

but I want you to leave with me.

I want to keep you longer.

So, the words tumble out before I can stop them.

May I take your picture?

Okay, secret admirer.

And then you run a hand through tawny brown strands.

I pull out my phone, I aim it at you.

My thumb hovers on the camera until I take the picture.

You ask to see, so I show you.

You say you like the picture, but your eyes were closed.

You ask to take a selfie instead and I let you.

Because I get to watch you.

I get to keep you longer.

When you give back my phone, you say goodbye.

When I look up, you are nowhere in sight.

I wish I hadn’t been so tongue-tied

because now my sunset has disappeared 

and there is nothing but the movie theater.

I look at your selfie and I see the numbers on it.

Those numbers are yours.

My stunner.

My sunset to come again another day.

Movie theaters suddenly become

my favorite place.