When your fingers dug into my shoulder blades,
Somehow I thought this could be a life.
The bonsai in the verandah has grown, love;
It’s been more than a year, and
That afternoon was never going to end,
From my name reaching your lips as a moan,
To a muted television presenter standing witness
As you screamed your incessant prayers
To gods you never claimed to believe in.
I looked into your eyes, not far from mine,
I looked into your eyes and I loved you.
When you bit into my ear
That your world was crashing down
And your name was my entire existence,
When the white sheet filmed with sweat
From my back, your back, my back, your
Tense heart was under my nose
And my mouth could count the beats
And I couldn’t tell apart our twining feet
Our twining fingers and our twining breaths,
My lips saw the nape of your neck’s defeat,
And in that last gasp of a long afternoon
The bonsai grew, and grew, and grew.
A year has slipped by, and so easily.
Who are your summer afternoons now, love?
Who are your tired evenings in the dark of the car?
Your nights spent remembering and forgetting,
Who becomes the light of the TV falling blue?
On your naked shoulder blades, arched?
Do your summertimes know how to love you?
Do they even know that it kills you just a bit?
Do they know to linger where we had lingered?
Do they know what it is like to be me?
When I looked into your eyes, when I loved you,
When fireworks screamed in my evening sky,
And we danced in a room with white walls
Reverberating with our joy so painful, so true,
I was only trying to be you,
And you were only trying to be free.
Art: Alena Aenami