The Missing Man Formation

There are men around me everywhere i look, but i
believe that none of them are real. They fall like
giant raindrops coming down from the Rocky Mountains
over Denver every afternoon in June, water flowing
around me, obscuring my vision, changing everything
i need to protect me from the storm -- the shelter
of an umbrella, a slow dancer, sweet romancer, a
space that is safe and dry and warm.

Hope comes in so many forms. There are smart men, kind men,
men with riding crops and leather gloves, men with slow
hands and strong voices, but none of them are true. i sit
in the rain in the meadow above Silo Park and watch them
appear again and again and try to learn to remember who
they might be. The first time i invented a man i was thirteen
years old -- a boy i thought could save me when we were still
nothing more than the stories that we told.

There was another man i invented, or perhaps he invented me.
Write it down, the wise ones say, your imagination is a gift.
He doesn't matter, sweetheart, my best guy friend says. You made
him into what he was not. You are a prize -- and if you keep going
through enough men you may even get to me.
When he says that,
there is a sharp ray of sunlight, then he too disappears into
the puddle of men i must wade through as i try to find my way home.