For You, For Keeps

The writer sits in her designated writing spot. Well, her new designated writing spot. She’s had three in the last year, but a change of scenery is supposed to be a good thing for the mind.

The backspace key is worn, rickety on its plastic arms, waiting to fall off at just the wrong time. The letter M is faded, rubbed away by hundreds of failed presses. The period stands stark and strong. Waiting.

Her dog sighs in the corner. She looks up just as thunder rolls across the dusk sky. Clouds shiver in its wake. The writer pinches the bridge of her nose.

A silver chain trails across her mind’s eye. A long silver pendant, embossed with their saying. You’re my person. A gift, wrapped in a silver box, carefully chosen, but eventually forgotten.

You’re my person. Declarative, possessive. But ultimately useless.

The writer sets her fingers to the keyboard for the final time that day.

M,
The silence you gave me is all I hear now. 

The writer pounds the backspace key. It holds on, its grip tenuous. She begins again.

M,
How could you?

Backspace, backspace, backspace.

M,
You were my person, but was I yours?

Backspace.

M,
I miss you. 

 

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Passing Like the Seasons

I haven’t heard your voice for
four days. It’s less than a week, I know,
but it feels like a lifetime of breathing
in sawdust from the wood I have
fashioned into new bones for myself.

You’re finally home after four days.
It’s less than a week, I know,
but four days will turn into four weeks
just as summer casually turns into
autumn, and the dead leaves fall
to the ground as mere memories of
their own emerald glory.

It is the fifth day.
You are home with me, but
I still don’t hear your voice.

Airplanes

My teeth are cemented together but the breeze slides through them like a man’s fingers through his lover’s hair, begging to know her as only long-distance lovers can. The wind traces a cool finger across my skin, kissing my jumping jugular with lips that are thousands of miles away, creating in me a longing that I hadn’t known existed. Iron-clad vibrations drifting in from four sides only remind me of airplanes, and of all the places I want to go, and then of you. You as you pull me in so tightly that my breath runs and hides, chasing itself down railroad tracks that somehow pass for a spine. You as you laugh with me (such a free sound, like a song I had once known by heart but had quite forgotten until now), our backs to the frozen ground and our faces open to the sky. You: so unlike anything I have encountered in my trek through decades, yet familiar as a childhood memory glimmering behind my consciousness. It has always been the deep blue oceans that held me in place as time lapped at my shores, corroding me into someone else entirely. Who would have thought, or even guessed, that the patterns we create so independently and so full of self-purpose and preservation, were never quite so independent at all?