Summer legs that see more long grass and fence spokes than sun. More cool water stolen and sliding down shivering stomachs from dirty bleached out hair than warm sand sticking to the back of calves and shoulders. Skin coloured from bruises not UV rays. Never hydrated for all that is drank, every roof climbed helping you find your way to flying. The most the sun is seen is in pink and purple splashes on the east horizon on a 5AM walk home. That is also the most that is remembered. Husky voices, poisoned insides, untainted mouths and bodies that feel more air and rain than they do clothes. Leaving you more dried out than the remnants of autumn leaves, finished faster than drunk words falling out of mouths.
You swear that if he stood in the West that’s where the sun would rise. Then you remember that you’re also watching a sunset from the wrong side of the world. Now you wonder if a ball of fire in the sky wants to resign it’s position. You think that if you saw a new colour for the first time it would feel the same as when you saw him for the third, and the thirtieth, and the three-hundredth time. Then you remember that pink used to be your favourite, but now it’s blue. Now you realize it’s not the pigments that have changed, but you. You think about how when the sun sleeps you love red, but when it wakes you love lavender.
I wonder if it’s difficult for the sun to rise every morning, if he has a routine of coffee or a snooze button he allows himself to press only three times. I wonder if he knows how even though there is challenge in change, the sky is so beautiful. And I wonder if he’s still lovers with the moon, or do we only have the night because they grew apart. Is it awkward for him to see her in the sky sometimes before he’s settled for the night? Does he choose the colours he paints the sky with every night?
I wonder if he’s sleeping angry when he set’s bright red.
I wonder if he misses her when he wakes up tangerine.
I worry for the moon, carrying around the weight of the tides. I wonder how she got tied down and if she’s just strong or determined. I worry for all the blame we put on her for our grievances when she’s full, if she’s ever confessed to such mischief or simply never denied the accusations. I wonder if she is vying for the sun’s affections with every wax and wane, trying to please his appetite.
I worry the stars are too far away to be friends.
I worry she can’t see her reflection in the ocean.
This is not a love story.
This is not a poem, or a novel, or a song. I don’t know what it is but it is none of those things.
What this is, though, is a collection. A collection of explanation, and occasionally some apologies.
Like how I am sorry that when I am with you I often can’t speak because the words in my mind don’t come out as smoothly as they are thought, and how my tongue trips over them. They are prisoners running and running and slamming hard into my teeth; getting caught. And when I kiss you I’m trying to release them and I hope that these words run through your bloodstream and that you understand and when I bite your lip I’m trying to get the residue of the vowels out of my mouth before they become to sweet and let me rot.
When you question me for how I look at you and I tell you it’s nothing, follow your gut. You know what I’m thinking. I’m sorry I lie. I can’t handle the truth. You know what I’m thinking. I’m afraid it’s too much, that it will come down like a tidal wave and we will not be strong enough breakers. I’m sorry I’m not afraid to feel but that I am afraid to speak. I’m sorry there is any fear in me at all, and if I can console any hurt let it be that I also feel safe. With you.
For every time I pick a fight, know I am picking you. For every time I am short on words, on breath, on life – understand that I sing to the fucking moon every night you are not with me hoping that one day I will make it up to you because I am not lacking in determination what I am lacking in courage.
And while the moon is encouraging others, I praise every cloud that crosses the sky because I don’t want you to see me for what I am, and I am jealous of every ray of light that gets to touch you in place I cannot, when I cannot. And it’s so sadistic that I love that you’re broken but the thing is I don’t think you’ll cut me up. Despite your warning label you’ve been an emollient to yourself and your rough edges have been smoothed out. I want to drink you up like too much of a good thing, I think that would be the best way to go.
When I wake up in the morning I don’t think about how lucky I am. I don’t think about how handsome you are or that I want to touch your hip. I think about how soft your eyes feel on mine and how this is the one thing I never dreamed of and the one thing I never want to lose.
Am I doing this right yet? I’m sure it isn’t a love story.