i brush along the gravel of a dusty road [this time every July, you see]
in the burning of an unreachable bright flame
so out of my grasp,
just like the little weavings of my life that have developed themselves into
sun-bleached photographs i can barely see anymore.
i am an ailment, something sending this town into a forceful quarantine
and why is it that when i carefully move stepstepstep i seem to think
you're still standing there, eyeing me from the shop window, the paper words peeling from the inside.
funny, just like all the words i've wanted to say
they peel inside out until they're gone
before anyone really notices they're sitting there, breathing there, waiting for someone to read them
and people only notice when they're nearly gone and
no one knows what they say anymore.
i feel like that shop window, and the windows are on the outsides of my veins just waiting for you to peer in
through my skin
where you'll read the novels i have written and rewritten for you there.
but when the shop window is empty,
and i realize no one was even there,
it occurs to me that you are not real.
you have never been waiting for me at all
you are a fairy-tale
if you are a lie, does that make me a liar?
does it make me a little old woman on the edge of a fire, repeating spindling falsities
for wide-eyed owl children under a crooked yellow moon?
does it make you a thought, or nothing at all?
thoughts are nothing but a brief flow of water through a pass somewhere in the corners of
worlds, and yet they are
so you are nothing and everything all at once and all i really want is to meet you
just for a second.
the perfect companion all dazzling there just for me to hold and have;
a little pulsing miracle.
the breeze collects itself into a package wrapped tight for someone to receive it
and i can feel it wrapping my bones in chills, even through the boiling, heavy air.
i see something blowing across the sky, and barely feel myself reach toward it--
a dried flower; withering beauty. it doesn't have much longer.
soon, it will die as surely as it came to live
as surely as you drift in and out of my mind;
i cup the petals in my hand and they fall straight from the stem
like they know i'll keep them safe. like they know they won't die in my wind-calloused palm.
i have been pulled with my lungs outside of my skin for you
and you're not even