Remember that cabin among the trees hidden like rabbits resting in nests of autumn leaves? Beside the window that looks out on the river there is a writer’s desk with printer’s ink and fresh flowers kissed by the sun in the sill. Do you recall the sweet days we shared among the redwoods that spoke to us? The memory evokes such nostalgia for that ache, that fierce crushing devotion. I left a heart shaped basket of seeds in the arch of a tree for the birds to scatter, etched our names on its bark. I will always remember you and the cabin by the river, the sultry nights I would dance, those sheer layers floating to the herringbone floor.
I am touched
by a storm
the tongue of a
fire that burns
A tide crashing
into millions of
becoming the sun.
My heart is ripe
like summer fruit
sweet juices flushing
There is a storm circling
the pit of my stomach rising
to ache in my throat.
I shower and dress, apply makeup as though I am going to work. I barely recognize my own reflection in the mirror but I am wearing my favorite dress and my hair is the color of rusty nails. I ignore your perplexed expression and questions.
Downtown I meld into the chaotic masses, eyes that are infused with the pain of survival. As the morning wears on relentless chatter becomes an undercurrent of whispers that fade with the crowd. Sweat and strong coffee stings my nostrils, clings to skin. Alien faces are etched behind my eyes.
The familiar girl is propped against the graffiti covered wall that turns golden in the sunset. Her head rests against skeletal arms that wrap around her knees. Jarred by a boot she glances upward from her induced euphoria, fumbles in the pocket of torn jeans fishing out a handful of dollars. Glancing around the man slips it beneath his belt and places a small bag into her weedy fingers that loosen, dropping it between her feet. I wonder how she will sleep in the night cold.
Repelled by the scent of urine, even the pigeons keep their distance and the stray dog lifts his feet. I feel those good intentions rising but they remain contained in my hermit mind. Does it count that I thought of her as she isolates to death?
Making my way back I pass that abandoned garden, pick a flower to playfully slip behind your ear. I rely on distractions these days.
You kiss the back of my neck and once again describe your beloved island and how the sun’s glare bounces off the seas surface and life glides beneath the sparkling blue that spreads over the horizon.
From my deserted garden we share an apple that reminds me of an autumn orchard and a love struck boy whose memory compels me to rub my body against you in search of that trigger, that wild place in my mind that is precious only if it is gone.
In my nest of stones I have not slept. Upstairs the neighbors fight over how best to spend their time as it silently slips through the space between fingers. As the last grains fall it seems reasonable to be present for those hours remaining. The windows are dark in the townhouse across the way but for a lamp shrouded in a rose colored scarf. Stirred by the sound of an ocean breeze I imagine I am a pale warrior charged with the safety of sleeping birds as a cat passes by casually eyeing them from a wire fence. At last when dawn climbs above the ocean I can see deep amber on the shore, the color of my lover’s eyes when aroused. Those subtle hues of gold that glint and sparkle in my half empty glass. I spend my night rearranging decaying books, drifting down smoke filled halls, pillaging my mind.