In the deep shelter of the pines, with the swollen eyes, tired sneakers, chipping nails, and a heavy head, we can still admit that filtering sunlight is nice, that the breeze is a warm one, and that the ripples on the water don’t seem threatening. This is concrete and satisfied and molten chocolate with the rotting pages of a miner’s passport. It’s like the dust doesn’t seem as oppressive and my mistakes don’t seem quite as cutting as before when they’re mingled in a bowl with strawberries.
As the neck rolls and sighs escape my clammy hands, I say not what I mean, I mean not what I say, I call in whispers and swallow my innards. My head is filled with cotton and floating lines until they are drowned and, at least in that moment, the space is clear so that everything quiets and hangs.
A thin wispy noose restrains it all from hurling outwards and vomiting and dripping in the most ignominious of ways. It is tied by children in their fenced schoolyards and alcoholics crying for their salvation. It is woven by siblings sprouting their wings as mechanics are comforting their engines with Valerian root.
I wish it would mold itself like clay, like cookie dough. Instead, it fastens my jaw shut, so that there is only one word to be said sincerely, if indistinctly.
You must have looked so elegant in white, with flowers in your stride.
Hair braided, sneers can’t hide you, bathed in light, all qualms aside,
You tread so unassumingly and softly; it’s your right.
The flash that broke
The darkness of
What happened next, the birth, the death?
I see you sitting there, exultant, no sins yet to hide.
I love you, pity you, and miss you, sweet child bride.
With one shoulder sunburnt, hair tickling neck, tucked, pinned, wrapped away is how the sun found you.
Where I find you.
Don’t lower your eyelids, let me shelter you; I know you want to hide behind the mountains. I see that you want to dissolve into the backseat of the car, but here come the words; they betray you so swiftly, so softly.
I love you because of your shyness & in spite of it. I love you materialized and I love your shadow. It doesn’t matter that you be blended with the wheat, with the branches, with the twigs. It doesn’t matter that we picked daisies that one time, because they are all withered and you are not. You are writhing and living and breathing and if I’m not using any ampersands it’s because I know that you live in them.
I found a constellation on your chest the other day.
It shone the way water does, formed into waves, cascaded away from me.
It appears sometimes, in the dark, and that’s when I still sense it scalding my hands.
The second one is the footpath leading over the stone bridge, over the pond where we watched the turtles. I remember the sunlight filtered through the leaves, highlighting your face, lightening your eyes, turning them into reflecting pools. It was a moving sidewalk, it never kept us grounded in the here. From the doorman’s diving glances to the valet, to the homeless man’s pocketbook, you swam with your confident breaststroke and everything followed your contrail. We were in the urban west, Milky Way above us. Those nights, we believed in everything we promised to each other.