21 April 2013
April 21 : You and I
The night was threatening
to tear right open
at the stretched out seams
at the end of that day.
Your arm across my shoulder
and my hand so inextricably
intertwined in yours
I thought I'd never get it free.
And I was glad of it.
I did get it free
and I did leave
And you walked away quietly
after months of magic
and never seemed to look back.
You swept yourself away
into the ocean
and left me with ruins
of sandcastles and seashells
tangled seaweed in my salt-dried hair.
But that night you held me
as if I were precious
and behind your hundred lashes
deep in your flecked eyes
I could swear I saw the distant sea
for the first time, the sorrow.
And I'd broken your heart
a hundred times but never as much
as that day, I believed.
And we talked and we laughed
as if nothing was wrong and
the day passed in a single blink
(of eyelashes glued together
into tear-shaped triangles).
And we had regrets and
we made mistakes and
we stayed apart for far too long.
But when I hugged you for the last time
something broke (and yet, something was
mended beyond repair, deep inside).
And you wrote me things I always wanted
to hear (but I was too afraid to listen and
you too afraid to speak). And I wept
and I shuddered and I wiped my snotty nose
and prepared myself for a new life.
And you never asked again and
you never spoke again and you left
(although you didn't have to) the moment
I did. A ticket, far off, to somewhere else.
And you smiled at me distantly from behind
thick glass panes, and you went on with
things I never knew you needed. And
you saved me from uncertain dark days
with your warm glow from afar.
You walked down long streets
and forgave me often, you
make me laugh at the smallest things
under this wide incomprehensible sky.
And now we're familiar strangers
in a strange sort of labyrinth
where thick-hedged walls
lead back to where we can't go
(I see you cross me but I must stay still,
your mind is suddenly a painful mystery)
and the sky gets darker
with every passing starless night.
Perhaps it's better to sit
silently behind you. I'd
hate to disturb your search,
your incomplete lamp-lit life
(but I can hear you breathe,
can't you hear me sigh?)
Labels: national poetry writing month