Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The words

Just to touch him makes me poetic, lyrical. As he looks at me with that expression: “What?” And I start thinking of ways to answer with lines from songs. Because anything I could put on paper wouldn’t be enough. I need strings and horns, a chorus, a drumbeat in the background.

On days like this, with the sun so bright that I can count every freckle on his shoulder. And my palms sweat with the need to just hold everything so perfectly still. To make some kind of permanence with poetry or music. To write about childhood and the truth behind lollipops and balloons tied to your wrist. That there’s no reason to cry if they free themselves and drift away. But anything I could say would come out backwards. Words would chase their tails like neurotic dogs. And so I smile and watch him breathe and touch his cheek with my fingertips. His eyes like tide pools slowly evaporating in the sun and I can’t help but wonder what will become trapped in them.

How I want to peel away the years; chase our future and other cherished things down deserted beaches and through hoops of summer that never end. And then I kiss him like I need him, like I want him, like a child, pure and desperate and unfocused. An inevitable tide, stealing the shore and his breath. As we slowly bend, like light, like music, like a rainbow. Blurred in desire and colors, refracting light, like a dream. Like a metronome: breathing, clutching, rocking, fucking. I try to count the notes.

And suddenly I have no trouble finding my line. “IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou.” The words dripping like sweat, falling like raindrops. But they are lyrics that can never be written; chords that can never be played. And I reach for the sound with anxious hands, knowing it will float away. Like that balloon from childhood. The knot in the string just not tight enough.

Later, we breathe in rhythm to the quiet music in our heads. A blanket over our cooling bodies, sprawled out like starfish. And I watch the setting sun try to paint his face the color of rose petals. My fingers on his cheek, imaging I can feel the thorns.

I sigh, content, and listen to the music, and to the words I now know by heart.

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