Wasting

She came home smelling like him, his scent lingering pleasantly all day
Lost her Jack to a cop
Forgot who Arvan was (possibly someone’s drug dealer)
Resolve bubbled and floated away into the air along with sobriety
She was tracing his contours at the end of the night
While ravaging liquids romanced in the bones
Her heartbroken friend gave her a letter to deliver, on patterned paper, sealed in lipstick
You are the catalyst
To the deconstruction
Of my purposeful design
She cried
And that night it seemed
They were surely going to succumb to a trite wasting
At the age of 20

Driving

We were interchangeable from time to time,

Occasionally marbling and entangling until

The swirls of color were infinite and inextricable

 

Under the bridge

You browsed the newspaper

With a cigarette hanging from your red lips and I laughed

On the veranda we floated under the sun

Golden from dawn and youth

You stood next to me as he slithered by, his eyes boring through me

On the cafe patio

You touched my hand

When his unexpected footsteps wrenched my heart, chilled my nerves

In a quiet hallway

Alone with worry

I cried a little when you set it ablaze

Though the very next week

We lay melting on concrete in foggy night air

Moongazing translucent white halos

 

But eventually

 

While we bled ink into small books

I leaked colors with an unparalleled hardness and

You bitterly wandered and lost your fury

Until my tongue was stone and your visions gray

We found ourselves consumed with counting creeping wrinkles and tedious failures

Remembering this

A drop of rain humming, swimming across the windshield

Became a quivering lake in my eyes

But I did not know how to turn around

Rural Town

She’s at the cafe again, sipping coffee, watching her friend sweep the floor while the sun streams through the windows but when she is not looking the trees whisper ill-fated tales of childhood to each other and the familiar wind and snow rage on an empty field steeped in her blood. Every corner of this place is loneliness and desertion, the scent of which clings like a hungry leech waiting patiently for the spirit to suffocate. You can flee to California but this town crawls in your veins, bursts in your bones.

Morning Coffee

They held daffodils between their teeth as they wove flower crowns and years later

Flipping through old books she found four-leaf clovers pressed between pages

Crushed flat and still, preserved for no one

She felt the heat and shine of the rising sun and saw her friend in his car, preparing to leave the summer behind

She called out to him from the patio and said I love you

He turned to her and responded Ugh stop drinking

The child molester sitting a table away asks her about a boy as the morning coffee begins to waft

She says Give me a cigarette and I’ll tell you

She takes a drag and weaves a tale of indifference

As he lectures her about fickleness

Emerald Evening

The boat is aglow with firefly lights and with every slow deliberate breath

They are floating past the dock where just a change of mind ago they sat by the fire, kissing cigars

While she threw dull smiles at the red flames, unwound unrequited attachments,

And left someone else behind in the rainforest daydreams

The barge of drifting lights and youth is swimming in circles

Creating a breeze that makes her dress dance like a sea creature with pink tentacles

Behind the crystal of her champagne glass, his eyes are green in the dimness of this yacht and in the morning

She’ll notice they are an unfamiliar slate color

She looks back to see the fire is dead at the dock and wonders if she has been here before

Mystery

When they were 19 they sprawled on the cafe patio

Shook their unbrushed, raven hair and laughed

They took free cigarettes from old men

Not knowing which one would turn out to be a child molester