the stark contrast of her short hair against her delicate face utterly baffled me, if only for a moment.
I had known her as nothing less than balanced and complete
smooth edges melting into curves and grooves so fine,
a telescope couldn't tell where she started or ended.
years ago we'd held hands as the earth shook under our dusty feet,
locking ourselves in place to watch hopelessly as life as we knew it... crumbled.
without understanding why, I hadn't been afraid
perhaps her uninhabited laughter was my antidote to all things broken.
now, looking out over the marina,
remembering how she giggled as the fish danced sonnets through the currents,
splashing her tanned legs in pure merriment as we watched their undersea show,
I felt like I had made it all up.
maybe her eyes never sparkled as she scolded jillian tarver for her promiscuity
maybe her cheeks didn't warm when I delighted over her paintings in the sunroom.
it was a different dimension, back then, one I had tried to forget -- not because she was an unfavorable memory -- no, because in order to make something of myself, I had to let her go.
I always told her how her soft curls drifting across her freckled shoulders would drive men mad, would drive me mad.
she would scoff and pretend to bat at me and tell me she was nothing special; she attempted for all she was worth to convince me she wasn't worthy of my every last affection.
I promised her she was wrong.
not only did I break that promise, but I broke what was left of my ability to care... for anything, for anyone, for myself.
she had three lovely kids and a house on the hilltop with my best friend, and wouldn't you know that she chopped all her hair off and died it black.
I turned from her gaze and resolved to look out at the marina, at my marina, at my spectacle of dead fish dancing for my eyes only.
next time the ground cared to rumble, maybe I should hitch a ride.