Sunday, April 18, 2010

white flutterbys

she sits in a plastic chair on his front porch with her bare legs drawn up to her chest, her arms wrapped around them. she stares up at a blank damp and purple sky and shivers as a wind kicks the petals off of a redbud tree branching out before her. she hears his footsteps coming toward the front door and she takes a deep breath. with her senses filled with redbuds she turns to see him smiling through the night within the opened door behind him. he is wrapped in a quilt hand sewn by a mother, its squares of deep reds and blues and yellow ochre are muted in the dim glow of a distant street lamp. he stops just slightly past her and puts a cigarette in his mouth, lights it, and exhales into the night and over top the fragrant air. he extends the glowing cigarette out to her, still smiling, knowing she can't quite reach it if she tried. so she stands and takes a drag, and puts it back to his mouth. he lifts his arms and takes on the appearance of a strange and colorful vulture swooping down to wrap his technicolor wings about her. they stand this way until the cigarette is done burning, and a little while afterwards.

beneath the warm blanket their hearts ebb from cool satisfaction to vibrating uncertainty and back to calm clearness and then again to childish euphoria. each moment is as absolute as the one just past and the one rising before them. each caress without surprise, full of knowing and expectation wrought by too many years of contemplation & anticipation. in a moment of coolness they throw the blanket over the chair she was sitting in and begin to walk down to the river. they stumble through the dark, arms vaguely locked together, watching the shadows ahead of them fill and then dissipate beneath their matching strides. somehow they never make it to the river. they walk toward and then parallel to it for several hours, neither one seeming to notice this or anything else. their heads buzz with an anxious freedom which had been suddenly handed through the dark of four collective years which they had spent bound apart by their own heart tethers. night birds sing their familiar choruses over their heads, and frogs fill in as a choir to their rhythmic walking.

they awoke and slept and awoke again and then slept again until very late the next morning, and then reluctantly regained consciousness of what was left of the day ahead. they ate breakfast with their legs laced together and ignored the approaching inevitability of parting, making plans only for the moments immediately approaching. they wondered through a park of roses without roses and sat on the top of a short hill covered in thick clover beneath the shade of three crab apple trees. white flutterbys dancing between shadows and dappled sunlight seemed to remind her of a memory not yet come to pass.


the air sinks hot and unmoving as she is glaring up at a blank white ceiling, wishing its blankness would fill the rest of her. she knows that the week prior is already blurring and smudging the line between it and the memories of him formed 2 years before that. she knows this because it began and ended the same as it already had, and what happened in the midst of that begin and end is now and forever a part of what already was and is. she knows that in her old age she will see white flutterbys dancing between the dappling sunlight of that what was and could never be, and it will be a memory without needing.

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