there was a startle of skin. loud enough to hurt.
there were theoretical measures. breath on the window. hazard lights on the shoulder. the gamble of time. chronic optimists. softly spending us in nickels and dimes.
there was the angle of consent. the fold of light. as it struggled to cross the gap. the economy of the void. between voice and flesh.
it festers. it worries. the hazy sober that convinces.
that they could ever be whole again.
leverage. that’s what they call it. some people anyway. i prefer to think of it as choices.
i went too far. as is my habit. it takes time. it takes effort. to get back. if i ever do.
the road opened up. let me right inside. and i dug deep into the miles. letting them erase me in the threat of their distance.
in the circles. in the detours. in the endless search for somewhere that fits. in the punch of the wind. and the pull of the slope.
at the stop signs. at the intersections. bargaining with the traffic. gambling with the edges.
in the sweat. in the hunger. in the risk of forgetting the way back home.
there is no map. there are no sign posts. just the places i’ve been. and the ones i still want to know.
eventually, slowly the skin grew back. a scar filled in the space where the hole had been dug. circumstance and coincidence conspired against the flesh. gravity finished the task. it’s called falling for a reason.
i pretended to heal. even thought that i had.
life doesn’t care what we feel. doesn’t consider what we want. it simply replaces the pieces we’ve lost with uglier versions.
time doesn’t believe in love. it only shoves us forward along its relentless path.
i’m not a person. i’m just words.
i’m not anything at all that anyone could want. or ever need.
the truth is i wanted to be broken, but some small part of me still hoped that this time would be different.
it’s cold. it’s quiet. it should be dead, but it lingers a while still.
cutting like stones at the edge of the water. flaunting red footprints in the whispering sand.
the math fails. division chokes on its premise. the thief is patient. the victim is arrogant. alone sketches its portraits in efforts and intentions.
it’s cold. as it should be. the tremble of life in parentheses.
it doesn’t wait. it can’t. it shouldn’t have to. but it must. the sublime truth of broken hearts.
time makes its cuts. ample alibis and nervous skins try us on. we wear each other’s hearts like empty blouses and tattered jeans.
the miles measure us. like falling leaves. lingering in the bulk of gravity. coloring the falls in pencil and in ink.
rescuing the nothing as it once did us.
the thrash of intersections. like the memory of touch. searching for weakness.
finding the war as it always has been. in lingering corpses and sudden attacks.
the lure of the edge. and pressing seasons. change humbled by our apathy.
we shout into the distance. as if it’s listening.
we collect the pieces of ourselves we have left. hardly enough.
the wound is healing, but the scabs are still soft. any friction is a threat.
the miles spend me in gambles and in grunts. the texture of loss is feathers.
i listen for the stray of the clock. the collateral of skin. the mortgage of happiness. the mind is a structure. subject to the whims of gravity. love is a chemical. easily manipulated.
i wait for you. and i forget. consumed by the paradox.
we pretend to know. though we never have. we try on the crowns these kingdoms have forgotten.
naming the places that stole our hearts. plotting our feeble revenge. resenting the flowers that managed to bloom in so much darkness.
miles swell in my chest. the sour arithmetic of just how far. i’m stranded. there’s no going back.
i chase the heights, but i’m much too small. i negotiate with the truth, but its mind is made up.
farther still. the horizon tempts. absent words. heavy with expectations.
i let it fall away. the thunder fading into the din of my footsteps. the ugly panic of broken skin.
the door opened. i crossed the threshold. embracing the emtpy space into which it led.
not myself. replaced by a memory.
the door closed softly behind me. and i let it.
quiet moments ignite resolve. a thunder of tributaries burst open from the heart. the moment stutters. struggles to speak. numb vertices awaken to spend our bodies like currency.
it’s simple really. it always has been. rotting fences between this life and the next. leveraging their shadows in the beautiful poisons of the wounded and the dead.
there is the fulcrum. tilted as my memory. there is the lever. weighted with what we’ve forgotten.
it’s only now. doggedly devout to the flesh. the eager chaos of when choking on the swelling if.
we almost knew. gravity wrote its stories upon our skin. and in our earnestness we mistook hopelessness for freedom.
soldiers of when leverage their battles. in drizzle and in thunderstorms. the important moments are all corners. everything is guarded and sharp.
we don’t know, but we try to learn. faltering in our hungry curiosity. so ripe with desire. bruising at the slightest pressure.
the words betray. victims themselves.
the tragedy suits me. it always has. there’s too much to want. not enough to believe in.
the ladder falls. leaving everything out of reach.
the flesh is patient. determined in its accumulation of scars. but the head stumbles. collecting gravity like badges of courage.
i want to be hopeless again. so confident in my despair.
absolute zero approaches. everything forgets. decaying particles thread their way into the equation. the past bends. much softer than i remember it could.
small bridges remain open. bartering their dwindling depths.
in love there are always predators. both outside and within.
i listen. hearing your voice for the first time. the past disappearing like fading footprints.
there is the chemistry. the fundamental science of flesh. a fickle magician inside our heads.
there are the miles. the long series of footsteps. the places we’ve been and those that have been us.
it began the same as it always does. a downpour we found ourselves caught in. it happened. as is customary. urgent and with little regard for how much it would cost. it was only how it would end that ever belonged to us.