The words were never able to escape my throat
while I stared at you in awe at each restaurant
and let them be drowned out by the clinking of silverware
and the endless spewing of nervous verbiage.
But between the span of weeks that you spent away
convincing the government agents of your accuracy,
I drug broken chains attached at each of my wrists
that left a trail through the sands as I visited my goddess.
You never saw the anchor that they were attached to before you appeared
or how the whirlpool drug me under and left me gasping,
but your tenderness shattered what was left of the memory
and started to heal the splinters left by the shipwreck.
I believe she heard the metal links colliding with one another
and she was by my side before I could summon her,
but with one glance she knew something was amiss
she tilted her head and whispered “What is it child?”.
The words were barely able to escape my throat
as I gazed over her and sighed “I love her more than mountains”.
The waves tumbled and crashed with vigor
as the winds struggled to carry the heaviness of the utterance.
Her silence begged an explanation for what was heard
and so I began a faulty attempt to provide clarity,
each word passed through lips trembling with fear
and was drowned out by the storm so no others would hear.
"I have encountered majestic mountains many times
but there is no surface on any that has carried her warmth,
there are none that have made me desire so greatly
or any that have provided the happiness she causes effortlessly.
They have not moved me to rethink eternities
or caused me to reconsider my path in this world,
they lack the capacity to understand me as the ever-shifting waters do
and their beauties combined do not compare.".
A single knowing tear escaped her eye and collided with the waters
causing time to run as slowly as the moment before the first explosion
the same moment that birthed Father Time himself
and she took my hand and carried me on a journey to change my mind.
She brought me to each mountain on the body of Tella Mater
silently hoping that one of them would change my mind,
I cannot explain the beauty that they held, but still I shook my head
and she started to understand what was meant in those few words.
I do not know who she consorted with for permission to leave her stead
but we became astronauts and sailed through endless darkness,
until we crash landed on ground covered in red, powdered rust
and looked upwards at the most majestic mountain we had encountered.
There was a hope in her eyes as I stared at it with contemplation
but it dimmed and she sighed as I shook my head yet again,
I could feel the heaviness that was exhaled in that sigh
as if she held a secret that she could not yet share with me.
We escaped from that world and into another immediately
neither she nor I were aware of how we traveled there,
but we stood on solid nothingness at the intersection of oblivion and eternity
with a mountain before us whose peak could never be reached.
Without hesitation she fell to her knees and beckoned me to follow
she trembled as she searched for words to explain where we were,
but when I did not fall to my knees or disavow my statement
a wind fell off the mountain that spoke every language and none.
“What will soon pass you have caused yourself.
The mountains possess an endurance that your love will not.”.
Then we found ourselves at the same shoreline where we began
with the rattling of broken chains scraping across the sand.
In that moment I knew the words you spoke would come
though I was not aware that they would assault my ears so quickly,
perhaps I should hold my tongue now as I should have held it then,
but the universe already knows that I loved you more than mountains.
We stood alone in the lowest point of an empty pool
the same one that used to be filled with cool, restorative waters
I still carried the lacking waters within me daily like a pufferfish
thinking I could restore the oasis that once kept us from drying out.
The words used to taste so sweet when they passed across my tongue
in the days when they traveled to your ears by the silver cord that bound us
and flowed through them to the mirrored soul that awaited them longingly
but now they taste of carrion baking during countless summer days.
As soon as my lips parted to refill the pool so that we could reach the ladder
I dropped to my knees and the corrupted sentiment started pouring out
the vile and viscous remnants were colored a sickly shade of green
and they escaped with such a force that they pushed us both backwards.
When the words first started spewing I felt each one fully
with the same vibrations as when they were first taken captive
but their ******* coated my tongue so that I could taste nothing
except for the desire to find the ladder and leave all of this where it fell.
I searched for the beauty I remembered for as long as any mortal could
and I glanced back one last time to make sure you did not linger in it
I took each step towards the hill I swore I would die on
and the oozing corruption left a trail of footprints that would never be followed.
The hill that I sat on for countless summer days was no longer there
and I remembered the fire lanterns that were carried on the wind
what we were had disappeared beyond the clouds and fallen
sinking to the bottom of the depths to never be sought or found again.
I used to fear the emptiness that might replace this when I let it go
but it is as calm and soothing as the waters we used to swim in
and I had almost forgotten the whispers of the soul of the world
until I heard “you loved her as much as you could for as long as you could,
it is done”.
I can’t remember the color of your eyes. As much as I hate to admit it to myself. I hate myself each time I say it aloud. How could I love you so much more than myself and forget such a thing? And it’s too odd to ask now. If only I could see you. The sunlight would reflect off your eyes and I would remember why they always called to my own to rest on them. I would remember the only place I ever truly felt safe. I can’t remember the color of love. Its brilliance once dazzled my eyes so that I almost looked away, but now it is a colorless campfire that keeps me warm. I want to say they were brown. There are moments when you walk through my mind and I can almost see them until you close them when you smile. A man could travel through every level of hell for a thousand years and not forget your smile. I remember your smile, but it’s difficult to remember you without it. Even when we poured out our sorrows until we needed to open the doors and let them out into the world. Even then you smiled. For you and I emotions are the air we breathe in to feel life and out to keep it. I don’t think they were blue. Or green. Brown or hazel still seem more accurate. I want so badly to see them but they keep closing with each caress. I remember your caress. It was soft, calculated, delicate. It’s the only time I’ve ever felt like the China plates that are pulled from the cabinet for important guests. Like you were so terrified you would break me that you took slow steps towards the table. It makes me laugh to remember that you talk like a nerd. I do too, admittedly, but the thought still makes me laugh. Like neither of us thought we were good enough and tried to be more proper and correct to make up for it. I’ve always been attracted to women who can explain why I’m wrong when I am. But I’m not wrong now. I’m a registered ***** donor, but I didn’t know they could be taken while I am alive. It seems fitting since you were the one that taught it how to beat against my chest in ever quickening rhythms. I can remember what your hair smelled like. On the day you brought the beer that neither of us were able to drink. You always smelled like you had crushed flowers pressed against you just before you walked through the door. I don’t know what the flower is called but I can see the farmers picking only the best one from each field just for you. I can’t stop remembering how much I miss you. It plays over and over in my head like the cd you bought me when I turned 18. I had no idea who the band was but I loved them as soon as you handed it to me. I’m so grateful you have good taste or else I would have fallen in love with ****** music. It’s all pouring onto the page like you asked, not because you asked, but because there’s no weight we ever shared that we didn’t both already carry. I know I should have fought a thousand times harder for this, but I didn’t. We didn’t. I remember the sunset on the beach. The assumptions that were made and how I wished more than anything that they were true. I can almost see your eyes before you turn to the truck so we can go back to the house. I have always let you walk in front of me. I preferred it. No matter where we were headed I would happily follow you. You helped me understand what old men spoke of when they discussed the pursuit of happiness. And why it’s so difficult to actually catch it. I keep looking at the clock and can see you napping somewhere on the west coast. The rain is falling and there’s warm whole leaf tea brewing on the stove. I’ve lost track of how many hours it’s been raining but every time I try to see your eyes the lightning crashes and you close them in anticipation of the thunder. I can’t remember the words to your poems, but the force that they carried by your tone let me know that sometimes your share of the weight was more than you could bear. And I would have carried all of it and you if you would have asked. But now I am asking instead. The next time we meet, stare into my soul and remind me why I can remember every single detail except the color of your eyes.
We found a complicated dance that we practiced for years
so often that from watching, each knew the others steps better than their own,
but you feared a misstep on stage and trembled violently in fear
and exited stage left, so I turned to the crowd and tried it alone.
Tell me how I am supposed to dance
when I have never practiced without your warm embrace,
and every concerned face with furrowed brows in the crowd's expanse
observes as I stumble clumsily in place.
I found you sauntering down your own path in the wild
staring at a dying flower that you picked but could not sustain,
but as you handed it to me you were wide-eyed and beguiled
as the thorns pressed into my flesh and opened a vein.
Tell me how I am supposed to bleed
when my hearts still lies on the stage where you left knowing,
that I will smash my fist into my chest to try to keep the beat
with faulty attempts to keep the blood flowing.
I watched you flee to the cliffs with raging waters below
grabbing a waiting companion by their hand,
you crashed into the current while I rocked with the waves to and fro
waiting to see if you would return to my side on the land.
Tell me how I am supposed to feel
when the waters that once calmed my raging soul,
stopped their gentle caress that once helped me heal
and eroded the hopes that kept me whole.
Now you return to land with dagger pains in your feet
tell me love, how far down did he get before craving air,
and we stand at the cliffs edge where land and water meet
staring at the distance to the depths that most wouldn't dare.
Tell me how else I'm supposed to love
when I never practiced without your warm embrace
and my heart still lies on the stage where you left knowing
that the waters that once calmed my raging soul
only did so because you were in them with me.
Her silent steps were not as effortless as they once were
with footpads worn down from constantly having to walk away,
she tiptoed around the beast that blocked the path she had traveled
hoping it would not awaken when she crept closer to view it.
What caused her to veer so close she could not explain
with a thousand paths that would have provided a safer distance,
but one step too close and the deep rumbling sleep halted
and a quick gasp was consumed by the quiet that preceded it.
In that moment her curiosity turned into caution
as she saw the tiny scythes attached to each finger,
the trembling escaped her core and into her limbs
as she thought it reached to take what it wanted before departing.
What could a beast want except the same as those before it
but it turned slowly and stared through your eyes,
you thought that it might pour you into a cup to consume your essence
and you flinched every single time it caressed you.
Each touch and caress built a bridge of bone and flesh
for exhausted souls to travel across to meet,
in hopes she would wear down her footpads just a little more
to escape the walls of the hedge maze she was in.
So that she may be as enlightened as the moon
as it illuminates the path for earthly travelers at night
while the sun ceaselessly pours its energy over it
and glorifies how brightly it shines.
I was born a hunter.
A rush of blood surging through my veins
with each poke and **** that might bring sustenance.
With trembling hands I returned to town
jowls heightened in satisfied grimace.
How the others glared enviously
when I returned over encumbered
with the weight of game upon my back.
In time I gave in to their requests
when they had contorted to desperate demands
and I shared the only truth I knew
“be patient and listen with intent”.
With age the encumbrance became too burdensome
but it was was not possible to hunt with less vigor
and still stave my insatiable hunger.
It was by chance that a merchant approached
with a cart full of seeds that are difficult to sell
in a village where every respectable man hunts.
I gave him every implement that I owned.
Every bow and spear and knife were taken away
and I was left with seeds and infertile soil.
How their envious glares so quickly shifted
to confused glances that carried pity with them.
As I toiled in the fields they became more adept
and day after day I watched them labor back to town
burdened by their accomplishments.
They gave little heed to the words of a man
whose surging pulse was made still,
so they developed ingenious traps and snares
that required neither patience nor effort.
I could not help but wonder
how much of what they attained was wasted,
when fresh meat spoils so quickly
for those that never had need to learn
how to preserve the unused amount.
I rested in the afternoons under the trees,
beneath the branches bowing with the burden
of sustenance I once had to carry on my back.
The insatiable hunger was never quelled,
nor was it ever for a single moment forgotten
when the creatures of the forest I used to hunt
came to consume the fruit I labored for.
At least now there is enough for us to share without the weight of burden.
You were not supposed to recognize me.
How could anyone believe we are as similar
as we seemed to think on that night
unless you were a magnet without bounds,
without universal laws of attracting opposites?
I was not supposed to recognize you,
but how could I overlook my favorite fixture
that the carousel brought back before me?
A unicorn with a mirror for a horn.
“You are comfortable with me.”
“I am comfortable with you.”
You were not meant to become words on a page,
no, words were the last thing on my mind
when you laughed when I told you
to think and speak freely without my assurance.
You effortlessly pulled the words from my lips
and still they hover in the winds that surround you,
but in that bliss I could not tell
exactly where it is that they did land.
If they fell to the ground where we sat
I would not have known the difference,
but I was sure that they did not miss their target
when the pressure of your hand
reminded me that we exist at least once
somewhere in the space of time.
“How do I get on your level?”
“I do not want to get that deep.”
Remember the words that were spoken
and let them haunt you when you need them,
with the weight of a stone pendant on your neck.
There was not a comfort you could have requested
that I would have turned away
and so you were granted freedom for your hands,
because if only for that night
we found shelter in ourselves
from the storm of chaos that waited for each of us.
I was not supposed to remember that night,
but it is difficult to drown out
how our words brushed gently against our skin
and the desire in your eyes
as you stared into my own
trying desperately to remember
what place and time this happened before.