1. Three

    I sat facing you, back against the wall. Your eyes full of tears. “Three years,” you said as you looked at the gift. “It always gets hard after that.” You told me stories of past loves and losses, the way your heart had held on even after they had long left the door swinging, the air blowing in cold. 

    And, as you handed me these parts of you, the hurts and hope of something different, I wanted to so desperately to shout “No, please don’t. I’m not to be trusted. I am the next chapter here. And, I’ve left others in my wake, a wave I can’t stop from coming.” 

    I stayed silent. I didn’t want to lose you to the fear if those words were pronounced, like some sort of death sentence. I didn’t know how to stay, and didn’t know how to you tell you I would leave. So, I played the fool and then slowly slipped out quietly. I tried to stop my feet from going, but the ways I had worn those shoes in were familiar and predictable. 

    A year later, I sat in the same well worn spot. The paint had aged from florescent lighting and distrust between us, well, it had grown thick. You said you were always left by three. Well, I always leave by three. And, sometimes I wonder if that’s why it all started. If we were so strongly attracted because of our need to leave and be left. We were both moths to a singular flame, and we burned up. 

     

  2. Solar Systems

    I have been fascinated by solar systems, planets orbiting around a central star, this pull they have towards burning. And, still they remain, circling, able  to maintain their distance, each with its own level of comfort and pattern. They continue pedaling around and around like painted horses. Like you and me. 

    I’m terrified to get caught up in your gravity. So I inch slowly, I turn circles, but never patterns. Comfortability moves towards an incendiary end. At least it always has and those are the fears I carry. The past orbiting planets are the ghosts of relationships that sunk us into nothingness. We got too close. We got too far. We died. 

    How would it look to share this orbit? Would you be kind? Could I stand the heat and follow movement, allowing the gravity to settle? Would our end be different? Do I trust the universe enough to try? 

     

  3. 4th of July

    We never remember it exactly the way it happened. I put on glasses to change the glare, or stop the tears. I wish I could remember every detail. But, it’s an imprint. It’s edges have been worn by the years. All that’s left are the threads of emotion, often caught on rough edges that refuse to be dulled.

    We sat like three birds in a row. Sandpipers on the stretch of beach, hair salty and skin stinging from sun and water.  We looked at the ocean and you sighed. I didn’t know why you were sighing, but my heart sighed with you. Each exhale in unison. Perhaps, we both knew, but couldn’t speak the words. It felt the way I assume the wind feels when pulled through the trees, effortless and aching. We couldn’t stay there.

    I tried to memorize every detail: the way her elbow rested on your shoulder, the laugh that burst from your lungs, and the sand prints we had scattered all around us. The short years had pulled us together, knit the places that we were afraid of into each other and into something joyous. I didn’t know what would happen when we left this place. 

    I sighed. My lungs refilled with breath. And, there was acceptance and a realization of a gift that I would always carry. Those stitches always there to remind me that this happened. Whatever happened next could not change what had been. We never remember it exactly the way it happened. I put on glasses to change the glare, or stop the tears.

     

  4. Asking

    What is it about that word. Please. It feels so fickle on my tongue, pleading. I hesitate to speak the syllable that leaves me vulnerable, in a place of receiving - both good and bad. 

    But, maybe in the the asking we begin to realize how we are awake. We press into hope, letting go of all that straw we had stuffed into spots that never fit. The scratching really isn’t worth filling the windy draft. The light begins to filter through the holes.

    In the cold air, we watch sunlight dance. We whisper. It is good. 

     

  5. "Forget what they told you and what you began to tell yourself. Your heart is beating. There is breath in your lungs. You are a trumpet and cello and you were never made to be silent."