Fair (The Sun)

I am in a love affair with the sun.

It is a light and gentle love.

Like two teenagers who don’t quite know how to feel the consuming weight of lust, the sun and I don’t quite know how to love each other with all the light that lies between us.

Like all of the best love stories, we always reach a fervor in the summer. The sun likes to kiss my skin– leaving light peppered marks of golden stars across my body, like road maps to the heavens, like photographs of his universe.

I can’t look at my love for too long. He shines too brilliantly and while my eyes have always been strong, they are not invincible. Sometimes I wonder if he feels the same way, and that is why he must always leave me, until morning.

Our love is a deep love.

We are cut from the same cloth. My love is a star and I am made up of shards and fractions of star dust from times long ago. We need each other to survive. If we were ever parted, my soul would burst into flames.

But a love like that is never fair. It is fierce and it is passionate and it is reckless.

But it is not fair.

 

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Jack

We were at your friend’s house…You and I were laying on the couch watching a movie while he was in the corner finishing some English assignment that was already late. I don’t remember the movie…maybe it was Zombieland. You loved that movie…and though I never asked, I always hoped that if that catastrophic virus infected the whole of America, I would be the one person you would go back for. I tended to romanticize us… I tended to romanticize everything.

I never knew if you saw me in that way- like I was special. I knew that you liked me enough to show it in small and bizarre ways- like bringing me sour patch watermelons. You left them on my desk before class the way a cat brings a mouse to the door- unexplained and yet sweet in a twisted and intimate sense.

I remember that it was dark…it was early fall and just beginning to get cold early in the evenings. I remember that we were snuggling on the couch. It had taken us an embarrassingly long time to get to that point- but isn’t that the way adolescence is? Every moment is so long…so unsure…

So powerful.

A single touch could send me into cardiac shock. I remember the moment I decided to kiss you. I wasn’t smooth. I wasn’t brave enough for gestures or formalities. I counted to three….

and I shoved my mouth against yours. And I remember that my vision left my body so that I could see us as if we were in a movie- your shocked face, vanishing into tenderness and joy as you wrapped your arms around me and kissed me back. It wasn’t a great kiss. But it tasted like potential. It tasted like possibility and uncertainty.

But what I remember…more than anything else…was that after we had shared that first, unremarkable kiss…you and I snuggled together on that couch, staring up into the skylight in the ceiling of your best friend’s living room. It was dark, but we could see the moon and stars through that glass. I said “the sky is beautiful” and you said “yeah. It is.” But I know.

I know, deep down in my core, that neither of us were looking up at the moon. We were looking at the reflection of ourselves, entwined in that foggy glass…. a handcrafted crystal ball.

Offering us a fortune that never came true.

Tiny Beads

When I was eighteen, and still in love with you, I purchased a dress..online..from a less than reputable source. The dress was a remake of a 1920s flapper dress. It was white and sparkling silver..with carefully placed sequins and fringe made of delicate, tiny beads.

I never wore that dress out of my room. I had such plans for that dress…such plans for us…to dance under the moon and the stars. I loved to put it on…to stand in front of my mirror and lightly sway my hips so that the beads rippled around my legs. I felt beautiful, regal and delicate…like an incarnate Daisy Buchanan. But I never did wear it outside the confines of those four adolescent walls.

Recently, for the first time in three years, I decided to put the dress on. I was no longer in love with you and I was afraid that it wouldn’t fit…but it did. I stood in front of my mirror, and did a quick step or two of the Charleston…not too hard…not too fast…I didn’t want to shake the tiny beads from the dress. I was afraid that their heavy weight would pull the seams from the fabric, that the tiny beads would go flying- irreparable and wasted.

But I was so tired of wearing that dress…without really wearing it. Of shaking so lightly that the beads will only ripple and never swing…of moving so carefully…so calculatingly. So I decided to put the dress on…and I decided to dance. to really dance with reckless abandon. Without you. Without the moon or the stars. With only me.

It was frightening, but as the music in my head turned louder, the beads swung more and more wildly around my thighs, and as I danced, a few of the delicate silver strands of tiny beads did swing off- like beams of light. Like shooting stars. And I was their moon. And suddenly…I had faith.

 

A Moment of Chaos

Sometimes I just need a single moment of chaos…of passion…of fire.

It’s like the feeling you get, standing at the top of a mountain staring down into valleys below as wind blows across your face.

It’s when you’re drunk at a party and desperately want to kiss the boy across the room.

It’s when you are standing at the edge of the high jump at your local pool and it is pouring down rain, and you leap into the water so blurry from rain drops that you can’t see your own hands below the surface.

It’s saying I love you to a lover for the first time, without knowing they will say it back.

It’s standing up and walking out in the middle of the big test.

Sometimes I just need a single moment to absolutely let go of all control. To remind myself that life is not monotony. To remind myself that I am not ordinary.

But the problem with losing control…is that the aftershock lasts longer than just a moment…and has a way of catching up to you.

The Best Day of My Life

It was the worst day of my life when I abandoned you

 

I am 16 years old.

I am sitting next to him but I wish that I was across from him,

Because then we could admit that

This discussion is really an intervention, me asking the questions and him,

With nothing but an ultimatum.

How did we get here?

Friends who sit in class and share sandwiches

Making jokes that no one else seems to get

Or running across the train tracks in the dark,

Knowing the chances of a train coming are so slim

But hey, if it does, I’ll make sure you make it safely to the other side

 

To the other side. Would it really be so bad?

Yes.

I can’t go on much longer,

You have to try

I have nothing left to live for; I want to kill myself

Please don’t. I won’t let you

Over and over like a vinyl record all scratched and bent

But we play it anyway. Until the words we are singing no longer have meaning

And he has memorized every note. He knows my lines by heart

He corrects me when I get them wrong

And I am so tired, of being those lines

That one miniscule little thread

That is keeping him here.

 

It was the worst day of my life when I abandoned you

 

The bruises on his face grew like flowers in bloom,

Day by day, slowly his body was becoming

A garden of blue and yellow

When I finally uprooted him and replanted him

Next to me, I thought he would grow big and strong

But I was wrong.

I am not a nurse

I have no medical training at all

But I lived my life in the emergency room

I spent every minute of every day worrying

Thinking of new ways to save you

My pager constantly going off

Telling me it was time to give you your medicine

Your prescription of me

But there is only so much of myself that I can give before I am empty

 

It was the worst day of my life when I abandoned you

 

Time can be so slow when it wants to be

Every day feels longer than the one before

Every time we play that broken record

Would it really be so bad?

Yes.

I can’t go on much longer,

You have to try

I have nothing left to live for; I want to kill myself

Please don’t. I won’t let you do that.

 

 

I can’t go on much longer,

You have to try

I have nothing left to live for; I want to kill myself

Then do.

Because every day that you don’t

The blood on my hands turns thicker

The hole in my chest grows wider

And I see no way out

Because I keep trying and trying to make you better

But the cure is not inside of me it is inside

Of you

 

I am 18 years old.

There is a girl I often see in the mirror

She looks like me

But I do not know her

 

It was the worst day of my life when I abandoned you

But I promise to give you everything I have now

These bruises and scars will heal. This pain will heal.

You are going to live

I Hardly Ever Smoke

I hardly ever smoke.

But when I do, it is because I can’t stand to feel my own heightened breath barrel through my lungs without a direction or purpose for one moment longer. My body is not a pinball machine, but my pulse tends to jump at the chance to play.

It will be because my heart is aching for something that I have never experienced…or maybe I did…long ago. In a dream. Like seeing a color you have no name for. Sometimes I almost think I see that color in you, but what if instead, it is a disappointing violet, mauve or lavender hue?

It will be because I have writers block and am stuck on the blank page of my life; scribbling, crossing out, scribbling, crossing out. The most avid readers hang on my every move, desperate to know the ending. Me too.

It could be because I haven’t spoken to the moon in a while and I have a great deal of questions to ask. My “Dear Abby” letters are all addressed “Dear Universe” and almost always end with the same question. The question of whether it even matters at all.

It’s usually just because I feel small.

I hardly ever smoke. But sometimes, on the precipice of life, between the corners of the moon and the colors, on the edges of the pages or lost in the ocean of the universe,

I might step out for a moment

and breathe some fire back into me.