My first year in high school was my last year in high school and I swear on my life it wasn’t my fault that I was the epitome of unreadable literature. I was raised like a weed in a rose garden, I was taught to be the stone which will not erode, I was trained to stand against a hurricane without fear or concerns for my own safety.
My first year in college was not my last but I fought the system the whole time. I was a spark plug in a water pump, I was a boyfriend in a lesbian marriage, I was a cup of coffee inside a box of frozen pizza. I argued my point of view and my professors would tell me, this won’t help you, and I replied, how small can I make my thoughts, how far from my home can I go, how am I supposed to create a new version of myself that looks like everyone that has never been me?
My first year of marriage was a boy begging for Turkish delight in Narnia, I promised what I could not deliver and I gave what I didn’t have. She was a mystery in her surrender and I cowered in corners, afraid of my own ferocity.
We found our way, eventually.
My first year as a writer was wordless.
I am here and I will be here.
This life has no meaning.
So, my sweet dream
Here we are again.
You know the words I wish I could say,
They are carved into your heart
As they are burned into my soul
Maybe is such a terrible curse.
We held each other’s eyes as though we could change the reality, we hoped and knowing the answers never mattered.
Your sweet smile was a cold fire on that forgotten landscape, clear and simple we prayed, our movements echoed through eternity as we imagined what might have been forever, what could never be one day, that anchor cut loose and we drifted away from our only chance.
If time had a pen, we would have maps and the journey would always take us home, we would dance in front of bonfires and the chanting mother’s would bless the rebirth of winter with a sacrifice freely offered and accepted by the ancient.
If, maybe, these ideas are not as hard as truth, these thoughts do not provide a loving touch.
Here we are, my sparkling sapphire.
We have limits and rules for our insanity, we have stolen the fire from the mountain and left in its place a key with no lock.
In uncertainty have these words stripped my skin from bones too old to grow.
Belief has borrowed flavors, and we taste the memories of what has never come.
Your love will decode my cypher and you will know my cruelty. I have chosen a road away from our Paradise, you will wait with no name for the return of visions lost in pieces.
I will secure the gates behind my hands, so that none will know my betrayal.
I know, and you know.
And I can’t find the way,
No method in my mind
To leave this behind,
The traps that I find
I want to go home
Too tired to roam
I left a feeling alone
And never touched it,
But now It’s reaching me,
It’s begging and beseeching me
To return from the far away roads
To the place that I know
To where I started the show,
My heart started to grow,
My mind started to know,
All that matters
I want a ticket on a plane
Before I can’t afford it
I want a place to remain
Where all my love won’t be hoarded
In tiny boxes and bags
In finery and rags
On a throne or in the gutter
Commanding armies or
I want a plan for escape
With minimal red tape
And a happily-ever-after at the end
I want more than I’ve earned
But look how I’ve learned
I won’t leave any stones unturned
To find my home, to not be alone, to remove from my bones this longing and aching, to seal up the cracks in my breaking, to once again start giving more than I’m taking,
I need a vacation
And I don’t want to take me along
This woman explodes my mind
I swear to God, I am not proud of it,
this wishing and unwishing,
and the wishing and unwishing of more,
as if that could make these things be something
or nothing, or take them all away,
or even add a maybe to them all.
This wishing and unwishing is killing me.
If I could go back and take it all back,
or change it all I would,
God help me, I would.
There are so many things I would change
and so many things I couldn’t,
and wouldn’t, and would never want to,
but if I started to change one thing,
I would never stop.
I would wish to be the keeper of time
to whisper my secrets to you,
and we would sit beyond time and I would tell you,
“you can change this. I have kept your time.
I have kept your seconds.
I have kept your…
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I will not see your face with my eyes, nor touch your hands with my own.
I will never hear your voice outside of my dreams, I cannot watch you live.
A life is not made of time.
Supposing I knew you, I weep in secrecy for what I might have known.
I can tell the story of what may have been and what was, I can interpret my intuitive emotions into language and create a space for you in the hearts that might understand.
When I was twelve I had a kitten, he ran away before he was two months old.
When I was nineteen I had a crush on a girl that didn’t return the favor.
When I was thirty-two I forced life to my will and captured love and family.
When you were-
When you were-
Perhaps I didn’t do it right, maybe a mistake on my part left you on the other side of the veil. It could be that I wish it was my fault, I’ve always been more comfortable wearing blame than my own face. It could be that random chance left me an unintended consequence.
When you were… No.
You were not, you were almost.
I will never forget your name, the sound that means my smile. I will never let go of your possibility. I will be what is, I will be your life. You exist in me.
I will hold your image, bouncing curls and sad eyes over a glowing, crooked smile.
I will say your name in privacy, I will call your name through the mist of what might have been until my lungs stop drawing breath and my mind can finally let go.
There is at least a small chance, still, that this life is my dream and one day I will wake to find that nothing was lost.
I wouldn’t tell you that it was magical, no, the way she smiled and turned her head to the side, glancing sideways at me.
My breathing didn’t change, I was forged in fires and tempered by vigilance.
I wouldn’t say it was supernatural or otherworldly, when she asked me to light her cigarette and cupped her palms around my hand, softly brushing my knuckles with her pinky.
She took a draw and the cherry glowed and as she pulled back she winked at me.
“Thank you,” she breathed around the smoke and I couldn’t remember the response, decades of polite conversation guidelines gone in one second,
but, no, I wouldn’t try to tell you it was poetic, or momentous, it was just a normal, ordinary, every day type of life-altering instance, boy meets girl, girl smiles,
boy forgets how to do the thing, with the words and the voice, that thing.
I couldn’t ask you to believe that love can really happen in a moment, at&first&sight. You’ve read the stories and you’ve seen real life and there’s no chance that you would take my story as something real.
The light through the window fell only and directly on her mouth, and I had to kiss her, and I knew I loved her when she said “Hi” and I knew that she loved me when I smiled, I knew that I could have asked her to go with me, for coffee, for a beer, for a wedding, for a lifetime, after three seconds.
I’m not asking you to believe this and hope that you’ll find that kind of connection.
Sixteen years and ten months later she sits next to me as I write of that moment, and I’ll read this to her as soon as I am finished.
I don’t need you to accept these words.