stargirl & miss dust

we met in a stairwell. the pale early september sun left a halo on your head, the bright threads of your scarf flickering like a flame gathering air. you exhaled, held your books, said hi. i slipped along the green stone floor like a river. our eyes rose, and we craned our necks to the next floor like buds reaching for new light.

i remember standing at a shop in oia and thinking of you. buying a bright bag with slow, hand stitched flowers, crawling up the sides like new ivy reaching for my house. looking for sun, like the tulips and crocus’ that covered our notes in maths. i thought of your round letters, hidden amongst borrowed calculators and the insides of staplers. you would whisper giggles about dancing stick-figures, and i would take water sips, trying not to spray across our desks.

i sat on a plane from buenos aires, sipping my quarter can of coke. wiggling my legs pinned beneath a backward seat. you sat at home, arguing with your sister. we had taken our lunches to june grass. the heat patted our heads and hugged our limbs. you had pulled at your headscarf; complained you couldn`t breathe. you needed air to flicker, you said. i rubbed my hands along the condensation of my water bottle. made mud with the earth between us. you needed to get away, you said. you were tired of furtive whispers behind religious backs. i looked from the sky to the grass. you squinted up to the sun. i`m your best friend, i said. i`ll be here no matter what, i said.

you were still gasping for air when we boarded a plane for rome. we spent nights pushing our beds together; listening to italian commercials. the tinny tv washed over my ears. we stood on our balcony in merlo; basked in the orange tuscan sun. you tipped on the rails with loose toes. when no one was looking, you let your hair breathe free. your eyes closed, and i kept lookout while daylight kissed your neck. august whispered past our windows, and your smile lit the sky like fire.

i remember creaking away from cranky chaperones; tip-toeing on cool grey stones with cameras. pulling soft coats around our shoulders and shivering on the ground. lying back and looking at the stars. inventing stories for orion and the spoon. naming a light after you. i watched you twirl curls around your hands, in the safe blanket of night. i spread my fingers in the soft sienna earth. pushed my shoulders back. closed my eyes to crickets. i need this, i heard. i need to be like you, i heard.

when we landed home, we crunched through leaves, wearing square blue caps. bemoaning the posing and chilly sun. we dirtied our dresses laying on the hill. peeked at the tiny fountain and manor below. like an estranged hug, the park-fence curled like smoke, so familiar it was foreign. it peeked at us from behind horizon clouds. i watched the sun move on. you watched the sun embark on an adventure.

the last time, we stood in the snow. you were the only star out. you clicked your tongue like a flash. our silence hung like wet laundry, and our breath mingled with flakes. you paced into a streetlight and pulled your hat off. let the snow rest in your midnight hair. i tucked stray strands into my brim. cars rushed past. you were waiting for dreams. i rooted my feet to the frozen ground. i rooted my eyes to your trendy shoes. your sister’s van pulled up & idled. i looked at the stars. we said farewell.

stargirl & miss dust


Joined January 2008

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