The night comes in after a gray day. The cool fog refracts streetlights; I dash out, always late. My boots clack too loud in the silence of the fog’s influence
I drag myself to a party, reluctantly. Some old friends have swarmed into town. What would they know of me now? Already I’m tired of the coming conversation, what am I doing, where am I living…. I have my excuses lined up, ingenious, unquestionable ones.
But I wasn’t expecting you
I rushed into the hall, the sounds of laughter and conversations filling up all the air.
I was choking on their false happiness before I’d even entered the room. My excuses sit on my tacky, too-made-up lips, my “what a pity I have to leave” face prepped, on hold. My brain has already bolted back into the cool of the fog.
Your eyes, clear as the ocean in Maui, see through me and drag me across our past. My brain yanked out of my escape, tied to our ending that made me run away to this town. I moved on; I found a place for me like a checker on a checkerboard, just one indistinct life among many in a city that can more than absorb heartache and failure.
I’ve been staring at you, and a smile spreads across your face down your body to your legs that move to me, frozen in that time when we were everything and nothing else mattered at all.
The band in this room loops around on a tune, waiting for you to take the stage. These women invited you to sing, so they could swoon and fan themselves with fantasies that you’d be theirs.
They were our old friends, and I couldn’t keep them. They slathered me in their pity at our breakup, gloating in their jealousy. It threatened to consume me.
You’re still coming; the band gestures to you. The women I didn’t need to see, smile out their hatred of what we had once. I can’t swallow; I can’t move. Your eyes, hypnotic, are fixed on me. My heart pressed down by the ease of your walk, casual in your rocker style, a part of who you are. Every step is like a dance that’s too cool to be choreographed, and I gulp down the scars on my heart.
I’m desperate to breathe, and the music loops insanely, and I want to back away. I’ve moved on! I have! I don’t want this anymore. My hand throbs from the lack of pressure of yours.
Your fingers reach out, lightly touch my hand that must have been stupidly extended out, a handshake? Oh, I don’t even know what you think I wanted, but I’m afraid it all shows in my eyes that haven’t left yours. You don’t ask me how I’m doing. You don’t ask me how I live today. You just smile a smile that fills your head, even your blue-tinted rocker spiked hair shines with the smile in your eyes. When is it too late for new beginnings because I’m ready to abandon all I have, take your hand and run so fast we reverse time. All I want has been compressed to standing like this, fingers touching forever.