Tuesday, February 9, 2010
"You Weren't There But I Imagined"
It was the wet, green grass and the way it bounced and bent beneath our bodies. The wide blue blanket we opened onto the earth, and the way the fabric of it scratched the skin on our backs and elbows. The crystalline clouds of air escaping from our lungs shimmered as they rose and slowly faded into the night’s sky. It was me; gazing up into the blue abyss of midnight, waiting.
You were not there.
But I imagined you; you, with your back against gray rocks and the cold air settling on your skin and making water droplets on the hair of your arms. I saw the same dwindling stars reflected in your slender brown eyes as you looked up. I imagined the pumpkin colored leaves coating the ground around you. Wet, they didn’t crunch as you moved, but rather muffled whispers. My index finger traced the length of the blue vein in your arm as you and I; we looked up into the stars.
You weren’t there, but I imagined.
That vein expanded until it was a river, until it was day, and you and I stood over it on a bridge. Looking over the railing, we waived to our reflections in the green water. It was July. Behind us, the sun was beginning to set, casting down golden beams of light that pushed from behind clouds. We turned to face those rays of light and the skin on our faces was warm. We watched for a moment as the dandelion light broke through clouds and danced on the water’s surface on the opposite side of the bridge.
You touched my shoulder as a small, purple shadow zipped past me. It was followed by so many more small, dark beings taking off at a frenzy. Leaning forward against the railing, we were part of the bats’ sunset chaos. They scattered from beneath their home in all different directions and somehow met in great indigo puffs heading away from the sun. We stayed until the last bat shot up from beneath his bridge and twirled among the peach colored clouds before speeding off to join one of those indigo puffs. Your long fingers reached for mine as we headed home.
That day was sweet and warm, like wine. Even in the midst of a bitter winter evening the memory of that summer day fizzes against my tongue, slides down my throat, settles in my stomach and sends a warmth coursing through my body.
Above, the shining beams of light are small against the thick blue mass of sky. It is like so many bats flying together, becoming one deep cloud and blotting out the sun. The bats contain all but a few persistent rays that poke through the swarm to be swallowed up by my eyes as I lay in the dewy grass; imagining, remembering, dreaming. I roll onto my side and acknowledge the empty expanse beside me, I wondered how long I would wait for that space to not feel so bare and abandoned.
Folding up the large blanket, I wiped dew and blades of grass off of my hands and onto my jeans. I held the fabric close to my chest and recalling the bats of July, tried to taste your warmth. My footsteps echoed against the pavement and for a moment, I thought I heard a second set of steps, a second echo.
You were not there, but I imagined you were.
Just something I turned in last week. I was inspired by some of Neruda's work and some almost distant memories.
C, from Cien sonetos de Amor
In the center of the earth I will push aside
the emeralds so that I can see you--
you like an amanuensis, with a pen
of water, copying the green sprigs of plants.
What a world! What deep parsley!
What a ship sailing through the sweetness!
And you,--maybe--and me, maybe--a topaz.
There'll be no more dissensions in the bells.
There won't be anything but all the fresh air,
apples carried on the wind,
the succulent book in the woods:
and there where the carnations breathe, we will begin
to make ourselves a clothing, something to last
through the eternity of a victorious kiss.
-->of course, Pablo Neruda