When I sit softly and often on nights like this, I lean forward into the days of tunnelled frost skies and cedar wood and hurried sifting smoke. I think of before I knew you and your walk was still an echo in the patterns of my heel. And your silhouette passed through my skin like a flurry of birds’ wings blushing and breaking on the air. And the mist from my small mouth rolling on the colder wind was swallowed by you many nights afterward. Then the autumn smell of openness and stretches of pine and a brief second of dusk settled secretly on me. I did not notice until the wood grew silent and white and the windows of my room grave and mute. Then the smallest shift of your lip sent our days tumbling upon me to rest timeless and forever between the seasons.
That was many years ago. That was before the revolution. My body is now broken. There are gaping holes where my eyes have been. My hair is musty and my soul is old. I sleep lightly in old libraries. My dreams are violent; pounding with every story pouring off the rustic shelves. I no longer listen to music. It hollowed me out until you could see the stars through my skin. When life is slow, I map the constellations through my spine. There are many and they continue to grow. If I passed you on the streets now, you would not know me. You would say, yes thank you, no, no, I have no money to give. I would try to tell you of your tears and the arc of your legs and the hollow of your neck and the way you danced through the rooms without ever moving.
And how your body fell away from mine like the heavy sound of history.
For love, and for history.
First prize winner at my College’s annual Poetry Contest
Published in The Locus,