The cedars are burning. The coffee’s on the stove. I’m waiting for you. The trees aren’t speaking. My breath is cold. Wait for me.
The cedars are burning. The coffee’s on the stove. I’m waiting for you.
The trees aren’t speaking. My breath is cold. Wait for me.
You’d always leave the shower water running long before your bare limbs set foot behind the curtain. The steam would roll slowly out from the brief crack just beneath the door, and I’d hear the thunks and thuds of your elbows hitting the tiles due to lack of space. You always complained that we’d needed to get that fixed, you’d groan ends and partials of my name. These apartment’s walls hear just about everything. And then strangely, for what seemed a matter of an hour, all hollow bumps were still, and all I could hear was the gentle and rhythmic lapping of water hitting to the tub’s floor.
You told me that night you had heard something beneath that water. That that’s why you had become so quiet, so still. You told me you stood (and you would demonstrate, the heated water clinging to your skin) with arms clasped over your breasts and palms cupping your neck into a bend to let the droplets ceaselessly rap against your forehead. Your lips would give part and you would click your tongue as if imitating the light rain. I merely stared. “It sounded just like a train.” Your clicks bloomed louder and then just as subtly grew silent once more. You said you had closed your eyes and let it pass, that gooseskin was the result of crisp rain blanketing the field, the train’s engine giving off miles and miles further of fog. “I missed it.” Your words had sapped with sorrow, and your hair had long ago soaked your disgruntled crown against my shirt. “I missed it.” You repeated in a whisper.
I cradled you to sleep that night, reminding myself vividly of every detail you had given of the train. Of the steam rolling throughout the land, and your austere gaze as you stood and watched as the tracks carried onward.
And then all was black, all asleep save the intruder’s droplets clouding the night’s sky. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.
And we’re waiting for a train.
So now the skin against your shoulder smells of fresh pine, and you get a rise out of the bumps prickling up against your forearm as the winter welcomes itself in through the panes. You greet each draft with a tip of your chin and you breathe right back, “Good evening.” I was consumed with the fantasies I knew wrestled your mind when you spoke against the wind, romanticizing of a barefooted walk through the snow just to come home with a cold, damp touch. A chilled tongue to slip into my mouth each night. You didn’t want to be warmed. You wanted that bitter hand. You longed for the touch of rough flesh on flesh rouge from the winds and rouge from the hours past. You wanted to watch the thick breath converse between our lips and dance among us, to let it seep into the cottage nooks. You wanted to explore. You envied the frigid places you couldn’t reach. And just as soon as the warmth returned, you cried for that winter’s call to pull you back into it’s numbing hands.
You know, as sad as it may sound, I think the likes of some could enjoy their days on their own. Maybe I could with a completely refined mindset. I could treat myself to a coffee every morning around eleven. I could walk just around the bend and lose myself in a few romance novels without the pit of jealousy or envy once tinging through my body. I could come home and cook myself an exquisite dinner. I could wear a deep red polka dotted apron, and have some sort of treat warming in the oven to scent my apartment as I ate bite by bite mindfully, slowly. I could drape an orange sheet over the lone window at the end of the long, narrow room to make even the closets glow a dull citrus-y light. I could find some sort of elegance in plum wine and a dog to tell cruel facts of reality to. And I could curl up each night in some thick, over priced lingerie and goosefeather blankets and fall asleep without a thought of where else I could be, or any other form of life other than impurities and sweet solitude.
Somehow that should be attainable. Somehow I’d like that to be.
Your hair would always tangle in the thistle and you’d set my jaw and gaze barefooted on snaps of twigs stopping only for a second as you skip ahead. You had this doe-like graze about you and somehow the lakeside resembled your canvased eyes and branches would crumble to your arrival, your lithe trotting leaving scuffs of deep blood to mingle with the earth. That’s why you insisted our adventures continued on foot, bare footed naked and you crooned at the thought of the swell of pain simply to dip your toes one by one into the lake water. And then I remember with sore bottoms and ribs clung to our inhaling flesh you would kick your ankle up to rest against your knee and examine your adventurous damage, running your finger along the watered down pink of a scar that ran just to your heel. You had remembered the grounds of each thin slice left behind as if it were a treasured greeting of your own tales of wanderlust, and seemed regretful as soon as your beaten feet touched to any other land. You refused to climb into the passenger seat of the truck, you only just got by resting within the bed as the night overlapped it’s entry hour. You would never speak a word as the gravel spun beneath the wheels, and somehow you never seemed to notice a sound if threatening to disturb where your mind lay resting still for a chance to claim home. Only just when the engine hummed to a silence would your lips part to give wind to the black of night: “Hear that?” You would murmur. And as the woods guided your mouth into a sultry tip, you would say “The deer are traveling.”
Holocene by Bon Iver playing on repeat, and repeat, and repeating once more. I’m writing again. I’m using this worn mind and it’s rusty it’s weathered it’s been tempered with and it’s been used but it’s got plenty of passion left and an eternities worth of patience for someone, anyone else to hear. I can’t say that I’m too pleased, because the only time that little writer crawls out from the depths and unspeakable nooks of my thoughts is when that’s all I’ve got left. The depths and unspeakable nooks. The unmanageable stories. But I am pleased. For there’s another mind inside of mine. A writer’s mind. A romantic’s mind, pure, left fresh and blooming. Untouched.
Far from here I am wool blanket clung around my frame, walking through the woodland. Rundown cabins bragging of apple colored wood, while some sage as the river misting the fogged paths of dirt… with blades and water droplets nipping at my ankles. Smoke curling from the stoned chimneys in the distance mingling, wrapping around one another within the misty blanket of dusk. Inhaling pine. Inhaling musk. The stones beneath my heel cringe, step, mumble to my arrival. Hair clung to my neck, stream water to my skin, brush fire to my breath. Homebound.
I can hear a guitar muffled, but playing, somewhere around my block and oh god if I could explain the rush of those summer vibes I have just been flooded with it would comfort you to no end. Bare feet with slivers of freshly cut grass stuck here and there up to your ankles, your calves. Water droplets doubling and streaming and dripping and gliding down every curve of your body the slope of your nose lying on your eyelashes. Music playing in a fenced in yard with bodies of all sizes ages youths looks running this way and that. A grill giving off that charred smell of cook outs with smoke clouding and rising through the air only for the neighbors or any stander-by to envy. Fingers stained ruby from strawberries, corners of mouths moist with pale pink watermelon. Spitting seeds as far as the eye can see. Shrugging away from the wet dog that’s escaped throughout the yard. Bodies catapulting into pools, huggies squeezed and chugged dry fresh air fresh pollen all of the trees a striking and endless, endless green. Family and friends and hot pavement beneath your skipping feet, slipping in the hallways indoors. An open house. Nothing dying nothing wilting nothing withering as the night goes on. Tiki torches lit with the black blanket of the sky, a nippy breeze added in to the mix, video games and music clashing indoors while parents drink beer out. How fucking incredible. I need to be back home. I need to be back to all of this, a time where all of this was every morning, every evening, every day.
You know what I find comforting? Reflecting back on writings you haven’t given the time of day, the time of weeks, the time of months, the time of year maybe… and thinking now what company surrounds you newly in your life that would have comforted those lines and the spaces of those letters more than you could have ever comprehended where you sat and scratched those measly thoughts before. A fresh, warm, and blossoming company. So who is to come within the next time of day?
A restless night
My legs are twisted within my pale blue sheets, the heat of my laptop humming against my lap as I sit with eyes wide, aching to close though nowhere near able to. Bold crisp letters are listed on the screen before me, the color raging against my mind as my toes and fingers fiddle numbly. Sitting back with a huff, the headboard creates a dull imprint on the skin along my spine, limbs aching of discomfort and procrastination. My eyes scan the bulleted points for the fifth time this November evening, stress fully credited to this last week of my fall term. Inhaling is difficult, sleep is near impossible, a restless night it’s sure to be.
Everyone knows the incredibly grueling feel of hours of sincere restlessness. Eyes aching from a few chunked, dedicated to a Psychology paper. The next few minutes occupied with a few distressed breaths out, groggy blinks and an entirely elsewhere mind. Homework seems to be such an enormous understatement, more so a home deprived of sleep, though plentiful in slow, and mostly unenjoyably seconds being ticked through a skull while the clock seems to take it’s time reaching an hour reasonable to use the excuse of “It’s getting late, time to turn in.” Though with a handful of finals and tasks yet to be checked off, the bed seems dragged miles away.
The neon numbers flicker up in increments at my side, it’s only eleven o’clock. Checking my to do list, my to-stress about list, my unanticipated and worry producing chores, the satisfaction of a strike through across one dainty line seems minimal compared to the text that stretches nearly halfway down across this document. Brief moments are taken to crack my knuckles, one of my short but somewhat fulfilling split second breaks pursued while suffering through a six page research paper on a topic in which my mind has never grasped, nor desired to. My eyes square in on the top right hand corner of the current page before me, the blinking cursor intimidating with it’s constant ticks, still, page two is filled a quarter of the way through. My stomach churns, my fingers lifting up from the keys they so fervently have been fingering, slowly pulling my hands back while the debate of whether or not a bite of food between paragraphs could truly hurt.
The last sentence my fingers had keyed idled as the finish of this paper for merely an hour, during which time my mind was not wrapped in anything nearly worthwhile or serving as any bit of an excuse to delay. Page two still lingers upon another opened document strolling along side by side on another, both of which unfinished and mid thought. Yawns are continuously coaxed up from my now sinking body, the heat radiating from beneath my covers beckoning me towards it, to just crawl in. Yet five tasks remain for homework, stress-work, worry-work. Marie Antoinette is streaming from the television perched on the opposite side of my living room, the music is captivating, alluring, beautifully strung from chord to chord. My topic should rather have been on the comfort and soothing nature of a piece of music. That is, until the channel is indecisively scanned to a cartoon, a lifetime movie, a horror flick. The soundtrack of my thoughts are constantly swarming back and forth from genre to genre, and all that seems to exist is the bed cradling my weight, all my ears desire is a lullaby. Instead, all that speaks up are keys.
Page three exists, though it is blank spare ten words. And now thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, it’s not nearly midnight. My eyelids are tugging themselves shut, only for a few seconds my mind murmurs to itself. Those few carry on through the next, after all five minutes on an hour’s worth of a research paper seems fair enough. Two more tabs are opened within my browser, Bach’s Canon in D is streaming from the speakers on each side of this open pad, while a blog of tire-inspired words is filled with text that would rather easily fill the requirements my fingers and mind cannot reach. It’s just past midnight, and now my mind is mustering up desperately to me, searching frantically for some bargains. To give in now and finish as soon as my eyes awake the next morning, though knowingly it will not be until late afternoon. My fingers have officially decided, picking up the laptop burning against my skin and replacing it with the comforter tickling my legs.
Two thirteen in the morning is a time for sleep, they say nothing good happens past two o’clock. My still, though entirely unstill, sleepless body is a prime supportive detail of such a thought. My legs fidget, my arms try and find a proper way to grasp and hug the pillow molded to my side. My body seems to find a content position, and within a few minutes I feel myself being lulled into unconsciousness, though it likes to tease me. That psychology paper needed to be on the topic of treatments, not the list of causes, but three pages are already complete, tomorrow is another day. Restless thinking and a restless girl occupy this bed, through an entire twenty-four hour period my concentration managed a subtle two assignments out of seven, the last sentence of this will complete three. As anyone would agree, now is a time that is for sleep, now is when my body should give to the sheets while a sigh passes my lips, my mind drifting off to dreams beyond me. Three assignments out of seven, headlights illuminate my bedroom with every passing car, my stomach’s rumbling again. A few minutes’ worth of a snack could do no harm. This is the life of a restless night, a procrastinator’s fight.
I don’t think a single phrase is more mouthwatering than: “Tart, cold blackberries.”
Absence is meant to leave a wound. The pain of such does not signify that you weren’t meant to part ways, it does not signify that you are inescapably tied to one another. Eternity within a relationship lasts as far as the minds in love can see when put together. Wounds are only a passage of time. Why, under any circumstances, smother a love that has already been exhausted?
You hear that train dragging closer and it’s 11:03 am and it’s all you can do to stare transfixed back at the dishes rattling within their place. Teasing you just up against the edge this has all happened before. august 13th is just another Tuesday. They inch closer but it is forever just one shift too short beneath your feet. Your toes tap now and you’re playing God. You blink and wonder what would become if it were to spill. To be within such close company of your destruction yet you never once make it. You sit and you visualize that dull pearl set tip toeing around it’s suicide. It enrages you and you sit envious heated in awe. If it were to tip. Just enough. Splintering itself into your surroundings. Living scattered displaced sharp and untraceable piece by jagged piece. And then you turn away while your gut takes on a sickening clench. Your eyes close.
11:04 am. You know that feeling all too well.