we were called over
to order
once the window had been raised–

my friend had not been
to the Freezer Fresh yet
during her work travels to my town
whereas my world was incomplete
without it; I was
aghast that no other townsfolk
had recommended the staple
and so I aimed to fix that

she was the one to recommend ice cream
on her dime, erh her work’s dime,
after our rural version of the epic
Battle of the Sexes tennis match
where she was Billy Jean King
and I was the other guy
but also the gay one of the two
and also the winner

while we played and reminisced about
our separate lives ancillary to one another
that played out in separate trajectories 
after befriending during a summer camp
having shared a rather intense time together
but mostly just picked up right where we left off

and so, when called to take
our order, I resorted to my usual choice
of a strawberry milkshake
while she picked reeses, perhaps
my least favorite of the milkshakes
but a popular choice regardless

and it was funny that, to order
we had to step around a puddle where
the ice cream baked in the afternoon sun
from a fallen swirl cone, a classic,
blending together just below the window
a mixture of vanilla and chocolate
both distinct, but obviously joined
in some way where
the whole
was also its parts

I had the urge to dip my finger down onto pavement
and press where the two types joined
to taste that liminal space and see if it was indeed
chocolate or vanilla
or if it could be that something new
when you taste the two at the same time

instead I photographed it to post
and demarcate this day, this time
this swirl
then paid for us since she didn’t have 
cash and we sat behind the building
slurping and swapping stories
and enjoying the loss of my distinct identity
for a short while