One year ends and another begins. The calendar
flips a digit, and the unrelenting
passage of time
marches on, oblivious
to us or anyone else.
I stand on your back porch,
a dying cigarette hanging languidly
between my fingers,
the smoke drifting lazy and silent
through the still night air.
I stand there and I think
of the year recently deceased,
of the highs and lows,
of the mistakes and the wasted
of the boons and the near-regrets;
I think of you and your footsteps
come closer and closer from your kitchen,
like the rhythmic beat
of a waking dream.
You come outside and water your garden wordlessly.
I watch you and fight back a confusing rush of tears that come
unbidden and try to fall free, as if imitating
the water surging from the hose in your hand,
the parched soil and the plants so desperately in want.
I fight them all back lest you look my way and the dam
I can’t verbalise all that I want to.
When you come close, I wrap
my arms around you
as many times as I can,
and tell you you’re wonderful and kiss your forehead but
even that feels grossly
So I just hold you
for a while longer
then we go inside and to bed,
where a single standing fan tries to ward off
the uncomfortable heat and humidity,
where we can’t fall asleep without
holding each other in some way, so close
that your hands on my chest
are my hands,
that my breath on your neck
is your breath;*
and I try not to think too much
about the terrifying sense
coursing through me,
about the unexpected calm I feel
when I’m near you, about
the fact that you really do
*lines 45-48 are a sort of appropriation of those found in Neruda’s Sonnet XVII. Lines 45 and 46 are very similar (almost identical); lines 47 and 48 are different, but only in subject matter. I’m not claiming them as original, but I simply had to use them. They’re so damn apt!