from a pool, saturated in smiles – denials

spots in my memory

i’ve spent too much time focusing on the negative spaces, bridges between gaps

failing to recognize us

stumbles between shutter snaps

less encumbered by what restrained smiles and carefree denials brought, when we were spontaneous, without warning

curious

left yearning

exercise those recollections

picture book romance

divided into sections

beginning

middle

end

transitions don’t exist, framed explanations for why

reel back, it’s worth while

piled up resentments, towered over yesterday’s smile-wide dream

knock it down

we can’t restart

continue

turn the corner where we fell away, frailty

okay

spots aren’t deserted

balance

for where we’ve been

from a porch, i rewatched our movie on a plane, alone

i watched it again

that movie we cried exiting fifteen years earlier

without kids

renting space, dodging death

insecure emotions hidden under excited revelations that we’ll choose to be together during early morning parades to regret

those feelings persist, developing, different desires

window dressing our fires of passion for who we become holding hands

comfortable enough to exchange blank spaces of rot we carried in backpacks filled before we met

we unpack

resentment piles grow

the weight is lessened

exposure, it’s surface

we must look

to remember who is who

it’s eternal, the sunshine

my mind, is full

accepting, it’s nothing you stole

we’re in the right spot

change the goal

from my brother’s bed, breaching time zones

inhaling the last bits of pleasure

i can’t seem to remember where i placed our memories of mundane moments mixed with afternoon-lunch smiles making this whole thing worthwhile

slowly chewing sandwiches assembled by grandma’s withered hands, mayonnaise soaked white bread, slabs of brand names

what was it?

this “thing”

descriptors dance away as i work to dash and play with the only pieces that will make you stay

jagged puzzle edges, gaps reminding us we’ll never feel comfort

together

my stomach ached

after you left

regurgitate, savor the theft of agonizing daylight that awaits us

from a bed in indiana, the end of seasons

i stifled spring movements, not wanting to feel your hope

and slipped into a self-conscious coma

horizontal peace without pomp and a head stone

i satisfied your need for me to be around

without obligation

i blink

you nod

i hear you

saying a name not chosen

sounds to gain my attention

i got up to rub your empty bottle

three times, i begged to be alone

you found it before me

at the bottom

i gathered my belongings and walked out

golden brown red carpet patches swishing underneath shuffling feet

directionless, hopelessly moving towards fall’s apathy

from bed, actions from words turned to the side

we waited

patience

letters we wrote, locked love to the future

one day, they’ll pick open the shackles of our tune

will it move you?

will you know the words to a song sung in midnight pants, over shoulders

before

a final “good night”

“good night”

a foreign language, we conceived

they’ll peel envelopes open, unfold paper, read between lines, pen marks indecipherable

code

red

passion

fed

reality

lost

during closed-eyed moments

warding off discussion

interpretive movements

our emotions pressed firm, smudged blue

a clue to the few

who also grew

entwined to another

acceptance, unnecessary

confirmation, blasphemy

it’s ours

from a porch, walk by

i stepped aside to let you pass

an insecure tempo-flow

too fast, you laugh at my gait

scurried-chop steps

too slow, annoyed, making you late

wandering uneven

an insecure state, where i live

the city, a constant drone of self-doubt

my home, decorated with draining desires to be like everyone else, at ease

or so it seems

on this path from here-to-there, the intersection of opened-eyed nights and self-talk lips, replaying the tone of my voice when i said ‘really’ in surprise to your recent trip, did it drip with the disconnected insincerity i’m afraid it did?

i didn’t mean it that way

i really, meant really, an affirmation of wonder at the way you walk through life without blunder, until the thunder, then you scurry, upended ego, hiding

i emerge to dance in the rain, develop friendship with pain, the grime caught underneath squeaky shopping cart handles makes me sane, knowing i can hurt again

and again

and again

the clouds lift

and you pass by

i shuffle along, after counting to five, a self-aware fuck up, pulling my shirt, chewing sleeves, smoking endlessly, everything to repel you away so i can confirm how shitty of a companion i would be without knowledge of how to simply be, immersed in weather conversations, where you work, my god, pictures of your grandma, a dead dog

i can’t walk beside you

please

don’t look back

from a porch, processed in a dream

misty rain pockets, snatched and swirled across mid-afternoon sunbursts, wind welcoming westward expansion with sustenance

refreshment

a reason to pause long enough

observing your half-painted nails nervously being bitten through lips i disguise in daydream-dodges of reality, dropping now to dig through earth-colored spears held up with fertile mixed soil and mud

standing erect around you, bendable gripped by you

able to be destroyed

by you

they’re not pursed, your lips that is, during these moments of momentary mindlessness only i know exist

like they are now

they rest, slightly ajar, an invitation to drop winter’s armor

and take a chance

if only i didn’t have to ask

for you to join me here

refreshed by summer’s surprise

softening our eyes

i now realize

i’m not alone