Last and Faded
A late autumn afternoon walk through our favorite park. Bored workmen smoke and drink soda from gallon size mugs, their rakes have swept the leaves into waist high, crunchy piles of apple red and violent orange that line the path like crucified slaves as if we walked towards Rome (or away from it). We seem outcasts or villainous culprits, our heads slightly down, glaring at our feet, brittle words lingering, littering the space between. We are shunned and feel it in our stomachs. Echoes of jeering, bitter laughter and the sting of spit and cast fruit stain us. Condemned for our crimes, we are sentenced to walk this bloody landscape together.
But I would kiss you again in the back of that crowded room, counting down one year of desperation in anticipation of another. All faces forward, the hideously gigantic screen (eighty three inches) counting down from twenty. By seven I had wrapped you close, felt your open eyes, a slight shock in your parted lips. Along with sweet remnants of whiskey and beer, I drank you down. We kissed until silence engulfed us, all blues and gritty stone surrounding. This place made too fancy, untouchable, unlivable. No one should be happy here and somehow I find you tender and willing, hands moving to my neck and small of my back, pulling me.
There was always a part of you moving away; an essence that formed and guided you. I cannot hate it or wish it were gone, regardless of how much it took: All the things to say, all the fingers to trace you, navel to sternum, kisses near your shoulders, they were always going to be ephemeral. Yet there is the smallest taste of tenderness in your voice when we walk and you wonder aloud if I could have stayed forever. I could pause, turn and look you in the face to answer, but this question is not about what I could do. You fear the unbreakable silent times, the detestable inside us. All our secret selves are too much for the other. Like me you wait for the inevitable moments. They weigh heavy, compress. Still we have this story and yellowing grasses to walk on, an October sun looking down on us, hopeful seconds dawdling, hands in our pockets.