Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thirty-Two Minutes

Our footsteps crunch on the sand-covered cement
your callused fingers are shoved deep
into the folds of your pants, hiding in safety
from the chance of touching my side.

We walk straight to where the road
bends to the right.

You suck down the embers on your cigarette.
Only your teeth brim the velvet darkness
from a moonlit sky.

An unseen creature runs
in front of our footsteps.
We feel him for a moment
before he scampers off to the left.

The diamond sky winks and twinkles
at us with mischief
like there's something else going on
but we missed it
the same way you missed me
as I stole a peek at you
like a baseball player stealing home.
My winning streak just keep me going.

The crisp air clears my sinuses like a mint,
and you talk about what it means
to be my friend.

The metronome in my chest
beats about one-thirteen.

I feel warm even with the ocean breeze.

My watch tells me that thirty-two minutes
have gone by
since you told me
I was the one
you'd looked for all your life.
I ask myself why thirty-two minutes ago
was so different from all the thirty-two minutes
of the five years you've let go?

I keep waiting for the cocoons to hatch
in my stomach again
for the butterflies to emerge
and begin their flight.

I listen to see if the world is standing still
and wait on as you speak of "when"
and "until" as if I haven't said those words
so many times before,
losing battles to you,
but still fighting the war
to keep you in my life
as something,
anything,
hoping this winter
will lead to a spring,
and now you're waving
the white flag at me
telling me that you finally see
I am the one.

I am the woman of your dreams.

I hear you.
I'm listening,
but something
is terribly wrong
and I see that the moment
is gone
like all the years
before it went -

silent.

Finally, I get it-

Underneath this ebony sky
another day is going by
and I see that thirty-two minutes
have passed
since you became the fish
I need to throw back.

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