Everyone knows what must come
regardless of choice, illusion of freedom.
And even as we sit, comfortable in our old
places, watching the wind as it moves
the rain, textures like the tree of life form
in the circles, the flurry, secure in the coming
morning, as certain as we are in every nightfall,
somewhere, just like every moment,
another face breaks, another being crumbles,
another shattering second
steals assurance, answers a plea.
Afternoon and Late Nights
She kisses my neck, under my chin. Such gestures among strangers are chilling. Lower, lover, let your lips slide over my shoulder. If it were dark I could tell her this must end in sadness. Why my weakness, my fear, makes everything red turn gray. Which is as honest as saying it might end in shared tattoos, a passionate moment in the park, or that living together would inspire me to write something pleasant about her.
An ending obscured in accents and food means as much as any promise of love or commitment.
Her words could be said by anyone, anytime, but I believe when she says they are for me. She looks into my eyes and I am unsure if she looks for lust or if she wants me to trust her more than I should trust any stranger, regardless of a perfect smile, a crooked wink, subtle hints that it might be worth falling. And in falling, find that the tumble is not a downward slide, a pleasure ride that ends in a pile of sand, filled with the laughter of children, but a drop, hard and flat. So surprising and sudden that when I look around, the world has changed, colors are new, staleness has vanished and the wind tastes different off her skin.
She touches my hand then my arm. A sigh. She walks to the car, drives away.
When she is gone, when the breeze caries off all trace of her, when the ground beneath my feet grows solid and the whisper through the trees stops making sense (the shock of the fall numbing away), I can open my eyes, wipe my chin and check for marks.
I never find any.
Tun, Tan, Getan.
Low. Under passing
airships, I slip undetected into
the backyard, up to your sliding
glass door. Low. All fourteen
years of you opens up, invites the devil in.
Chocolate and raspberries spread neatly
on the top bunk in your room. Sheet draped
loosely over you and the edge
of the mattress. Outline of your rounded
shoulder peaks beneath your hair. White skin,
pale like the sky fast turning dark, turning away
from us. Climbing the stairs to the attic loft
where you sleep when nights are too hot,
where you hide your secret things.
Everything lives here: the night shadow,
ghosts of dolls, the kisses we shared
the summer before. They slip in and out
between old phonographs and rocking chairs.
Your arms wrap from behind around my waist,
your breath short on my back.
You never speak.