︎    I heard you before I saw you. Then I met your quiet joy. The only sound you made came from the sousaphone wrapped around you. Your cousin was half playing alongside you, half dancing with passing strangers. He’s the outgoing one, I think.

Walking around later that night, I saw you swerve around a corner and wave to us from your van. I guess you were on your way home. We never learned each other’s names, but you remembered my face. And years later, your phone still makes me smile.

Maybe one day I’ll be roaming those streets again. Will I find you there? Will you remember me then? 

︎    I didn’t like this picture before Faride tells me she loves it. I notice you, I memorialize you, but she’s the one who sees you. She pays attention.

You are walking around the bend of the road below the apartment I rented in Istanbul. There is a cafe on the corner, but only men sit there. It reminds me of all the Albanian cafes I can’t sit in–the ones whose storefronts are littered with men and cigarette smoke. You walk past them, unbothered, and look at foreign dresses in the storefront.

Your eyes fixated, you never notice me.