By Marilyn Duarte
I was mesmerized by the burnt-yellow moon,
Looming high above us as we made the long way home,
Allowing our hands to touch while the orchestra played,
Our warm fingers shyly interlacing as the libretto came alive.
I allowed myself to imagine;
Hoping after losing hope.
For stealing a few glances at your brown waves,
Parting and swaying in the island’s salty breeze.
I laughed when you warned me to be careful.
For leaning in closer on the cool, concrete steps;
Absorbing the heat emitting from beneath your blue cotton shirt
Because I knew.
We intertwined our legs, our arms, our lips:
Our mouths parted, and you offered so little;
Said all the wrong things.
Ignoring the subtle pinch deep within my stomach, I spoke too much,
Trying hard to make the imagined real and the real imagined.
I shivered from the cold night air floating off the water;
Sought comfort in your lukewarm embrace.
Whispering under the crisp, white stars,
Our giggles echoed throughout the eerily quiet of the city.
For letting 3 a.m. seamlessly slide into 6 a.m.;
Basking in the sun’s bright, amber rays as they gently stirred us awake.
You came undone when you saw her,
The dark-haired girl with the sideways smile and colorful tattoos.
For waiting on the sidewalk, while you stayed behind to give her a present:
One she hadn’t asked for and one she didn’t want.
You kissed my shoulders through the blue cotton shirt I wore,
Your cigarette scent seeping from it.
I convinced myself this was enough, and fell asleep on your limp pillow,
Ignoring the handful of lies you uttered:
The ones you thought I didn’t notice.
We heard the woodpeckers eagerly drum against the tree;
Spotted blue jays descending into a family of leaves.
For extending my invitation, even when we both wanted me gone;
Telling you I wanted to dance, even though I didn’t.
You sat motionless in the middle of the lawn,
Scarlet and silent.
Both of us relieved when I left.
The rippled, blue and pink sky welcomed night;
Enveloped your anguish;
Eclipsed your secrets,
As daylight dimmed.
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