They rose almost in the dark,
went barefoot through the wet grass
to gather windfalls before the birds arrived;
A gut-check cringe away from hope—a taste
laid wide against the tongue that I can’t swallow—
and you’ve already flown the paths I follow.
His was a study
of the beautiful flash, the elusive, staccato
its knowledge of good and evil
coiled on the seat between us.
Alone on the beach under an empty sky, it all comes clear.
You promised me vastness—
even before your irrevocable exit.
Where will we end up? Persistent hum
of tires is our story, and eventually
the color of each signpost has its meaning.
Before we’d been outside
the islands of our shitty neighborhoods,
we weren’t angry. Only when the sun
beat down we dripped with sweat, revealed tanned chests
in the backyard, and played the radio.
How often I have played the part of this poor fish
skewered by a barbed hook it mistook
for something benign