I took a stroll today back through the town I know better than I should, past the house of the boy that I first kissed, the one I thought I loved, the one that I thought loved me, and place after place my heart took more than I ever thought it could handle.
Everything smelled the same, looked the same–the only difference was the person I have become, not so free or as innocent as I once had been. A tempered version of the fiery youth I was walks past the tree blooming like it did that spring when night wanderings were a way of life. Your perfume is the melody that takes me back no matter where I go, and I smile. It makes me think of my partner in crime and the way the cool, wet grass felt against my skin in the heat of summer night air as we talked about everything. I never guessed that one day were would be strangers again.
All of them seemed so permanent. Those moments are so special to me–some shared under moonlight, some under the sun–but now it is as if someone else lived that life. Seeing each other in passing down the isle at the grocers doesn’t spark a “hello.”
Instead it’s fear.
Perhaps we are afraid that the reminiscing ruins the memory, or perhaps we truly are strangers. New people whose pasts are nothing but a dream to help shape this perception of reality and who we have become. My dream is fading too now of the dawn of my life, but I still remember. The sweet, stolen wine and hot tubs filled to the brim with laughing bodies and the prayer the sun would never rise are once again awakened through the haze by sitting under these blooms in the blanket of twilight air. Even if it has to just be me alone from now on, remembering has never felt so good.
It was the end of the party, and the wild thumping of the bass had died to a steady heartbeat. I’ve never been afraid of the night and the solitude it brings as I wait for the car to come around. A group of rowdy boys burst from the back door laughing as a wild one runs loose through the sandy courtyard. Such inhibition lost, it makes me giggle at that kind of freedom. Like a lost lamb, the wild one spots me at the curb and begins his descent with a piece of stale pizza dangling from his drunken clutch.
“You are the prettiest person I have ever set eyes on. Come inside out of the night with me,” he slurs through a drunken smirk.
I shake my head and smile like a mother does at her children after they walk in the door covered in mud. The rest of the pack catches up to you to join in howls of self congratulations as they crowd around me to sniff out their chances with me. A smaller, shy one with strawberry blonde curls and freckles speckled over his face looks silently at me. I walked slowly toward you and you pulled me into a one armed embrace to whisper in my ear apologies on behalf of the brute squad. I smiled at your gentle kindness, so rare and beautiful.
The wild one pulls me towards him.
“I need to see you again. Sunday? Wednesday? I just need to see you!”
The desperation in his clutch and the pain in his eyes under that cheeky smile, moved something in me. I reached my hand up to his face to ever so gently stroke the rogue hair from his forehead.
“I’ll make a deal. Not tonight, but if I see you again, I’ll go out with you, no questions asked and my treat. Standing here under the stars is magic, but if they see fit to have us meet again, we will know it’s more than the song of the night that makes you want me.”
As I say this I catch the eye of the redhead. Headlights catch my attention as my taxi arrives, but I leave the wild one for one last embrace by you. I meant those words to you as well, speckled darling.
I’ll let the stars be my guide, and let’s let fate take us on an adventure.
Laying here as the sun kisses my bare body and the breeze blows lilac kisses across the yard has to be the best feeling in the entire world. It is as if I can feel the calm pulse of the earth as it smiles today.
A small sigh of pure pleasure escapes my moist lips as a bead of sweet tea dribbles down my chin only to be caught by a pink tongue and a smile. The finch family living in the bush at the corner of the yard sing to me the sweetest song full of more joy than I can remember. Clothing seems to only hinder this connection as the sun wraps me in a gentle warmth, and a calm breeze provides a periodic respite. Time doesn’t exist right now, and for all I know I am the only person alive to witness this day of perfection.
After so many weeks, my restless soul stills to take every minute of this in. Alone, but not lonely; exposed, but not vulnerable. I have been waiting for a moment like this, where everything was just perfect for a little while.
Oh man in the moon, do you see her sorrow?
She sits alone under a sky bright with stars, looking up to find her purpose she lost so long ago. Your beams reflect back the glint of the tears she holds in her eyes, and the gentle glow of light caresses her cheek. The grass beneath her fingertips is beginning to moisten with dew, and the cold reminds her shes alive. In a night so quiet and so empty it is easy to get lost inside herself. The immensity of the darkness sinks into her soul like the ink of a pen seeps onto an empty page. Interesting that a girl could feel so alone as the wind plays with her hair and the flowers perfume tempts her closer.
“Stay with us,” they call.
Hot red starts to drip, drip, drip. Were you watching, man in the moon, did you see the moment she gave in? Living in this world was too hard, because her emotions were like the ocean. She drown in herself and no one could save her.
Like the prairie, she is beautiful.
Seasons of her life have made her bloom with colors so bright, you can’t help but be drawn like a magnet to her rugged landscape. Lush and overwhelming for such a short time, because something or someone made her feel more alive. Most, however, can’t take the heat that Indian summers can bring. Her intensity is like the sun that beats upon the hardy grassland until the heat turns them dry and the ground slowly cracks. Late summer rains only make the needy soil flood under the magnitude of the storm.
Just when the burning becomes too much to handle, the winds shift to bring in the cool and tempered breeze of fall. The calm, the beauty of the hay turning gold and the generated warmth of a jacket, made cozy by her gentle winds move you to fall in love again. A calm acceptance that life could be so content and a love could move so deep.
Winter is her drawing you deeper, looking inside yourself for the reason for this season–her test to see if you can handle the extremes of her world. One is calm, cheerful, and full of care when you are there in her arms. Should you find yourself on the wrong side of her passion, that bitter, blinding cold would drive you to madness to return to those arms. Or it might just drive you from her faster than you could look back. But look how she blooms again without you, silly one.
Nothing can keep her from being aglow with the vibrance of being alive and wild like the prairie.
I wanted to go home, to you, to that bed we never want to leave, today. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up or if I even should. Even you tell me this is bad. You can see the nightmare that comes next while I am still so caught up in the mirage. You tell me I glow when I see you.
I FUCKING GLOW.
What the hell? I am so angry! I am angry at myself for letting you in, for letting this get this far, for letting this be no different from every other time. I am angry at the way the world works. Here I am, fully ready to love someone, to make every day about making them smile, and it hands me a guy that has to walk away. Really? After you tell me you have feelings for me?
Don’t you know silly boy that saying frivolous things like that only makes my heart melt?
It is far easier to pretend like I am utterly un-phased when you are doing the same, so why you would break pattern and admit something like that is beyond what I can reason. Every single tender moment is like a knife to a heart I thought had mended. You are different and the same from every other man, but I woke up this morning knowing in my very toes that I could fall in love with you.
If you asked me, I would.
I am terrified two months is too long, yet too short to let you in and let you go in what will most likely be at the very same moment. Don’t ask me to go back; because, Honey, it’s a one way ride. Just be sure you understand that no matter how many times I bat my eyes and promise I can handle this, I will never stop wanting more with the full knowledge that it is entirely impossible.
Preach to me not of the stars,
for they are the ones that dried my tears
after every boy before you,
and whispered sensational dreams
into a heart left empty.
They saw all the love in my eyes
just waiting to be given
and accepted it with a soft embrace.
Yes, boy–they are romantic.
They call down,
“Only I have loved you”
as we take this frigid walk under their light.
Preach to me not of the stars,
for they were there
when this little girl’s fragile heart was born
and they will be here
long after you stop holding this hand.