I still wait for you, in the dark, remembering the time when it was just you and I
|I still wait for you in the dark, remembering the time when these broken streetlights turned our shadows into thin giants walking across an asphalt sky. In the parking lot that used to be our backyard, full of broken bottles and forgotten tires. Misused tire irons, ripped condoms and jagged pieces of colorful glass litter the ground like seashells of our own private beach. The ugly thin trees that used to lean against each other like the joyful drunks from the pub down the road, gone, torn down to make the concrete flatland that was our stage.
Do you remember how we used to dance under the florescent lights? Capture wandering fireflies on the out of place patches of grass? Jump across the great divide from one red handrail to another, thin continents of crimson floating on grey oceans. You fell one day and that grey turned to black and you cried and cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do, I was so afraid. When I ran home, legs scraped and itchy from the neighbors’ rose bushes, I must have looked a fright to them. They came for you and carried you away, and I cried and cried and cried, dreaming that I would never see you again. But the next day, you were there by those handrails, bandaged and unafraid. And so as we climbed, we pretended that heroes never fall down, they fly, descending at their worst, coming so close to earth their wings burn, before coming back again. And that is what you did, you descended, but you came back again.
We used to bike at twilight. Past churches that locked their doors on Fridays and larges houses that spilled light onto the sidewalk through arched windows. Running through abandoned school playgrounds that we ignored during the day, standing on swings that we swore that if we swung high enough, we could reach the stars. We found many things on our travels. Bleeding hearts in Mrs. C’s backyard, the rusted staircase that led to the roof of the old bike shop, and the caverns of verdant under the bushes on the east side of park, where you and I played at matrimony. Blades of grass turned into whistles, baskets and rings. One day, as we leaned over the edge of the handrails of the emergency staircase, we found a dead squirrel in the alley, lying in the field of old sodden leaves of brown, red and orange. Scattered grey bones poking out of the piles of soft dead mush like ancient ruins of a far away desert. They told us, “It must have fell. Fallen and broke its neck.” You smiled and said, “No, it flew” and I smiled with you.
I still remember your hands. Long fingered and soft at the palm, hard at the tips. Your laugh, that lingered in dark rooms and golden hair that never was within my reach. You were mine, for a time, and I was yours, for more, wavering on the edge of puberty. You know, when you fell, they said the same thing too. “He must have fell. Fallen and broke his neck. He was face down”, they said, “tripped and fell off the edge”. What a waste, they said, as they carried you off your bed of red, orange and brown into the dark pine. And I screamed and I cried, because I thought I was never going to see you again. But now I wait, in the dark, under the broken streetlights of our forgotten stage, because I remember those last fragile words that spilled from your trembling lips; that you do not fall, but descend. And so, I wait for you to rise and come back to me again.