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
                                opportunities,
                of the boons and the near-regrets;
and then
                                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,
        placating
the parched soil and the plants so desperately in want.
I fight them all back lest you look my way and the dam
                breaks.

I can’t verbalise all that I want to.
                        Not yet.
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
                        inadequate.
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
                                of happiness
coursing through me,
about the unexpected calm I feel
                when I’m near you, about
the fact that you really do
                                exist.

*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!