surface breath

samantharainwater Avatar
I used to have an aversion to
romance novels, preferring Real Stories to
tales of living sex appeal ensnaring 
a damsel into a new life 
and something about happily ever after. 

Fantasizing in that cheap reality
was an insult to my love,
imperfect but steady—instead,
I could immerse myself
into the sensory chamber of 
grief and loss, knowing when I
re-emerged, gasping, that
my life was still in order
exactly the way I left it. 

It's always a surprise,
life, that is.
Many paths splinter off with every
choice, every
reaction, every
time I fight
for better grip on the 
pieces slipping through 
my fingers. 

Once we made 
egg fried rice in your 
studio apartment, 
you pulling me into
a slow dance after 
dinner, pulling me out of
my shell, my breath easing
with every synchronic movement,
integrating into wavelengths 
that settled into belonging.

I choke awake without 
you, once believing you to be 
a secure fixture, now just
out of reach, like
dropping the back of your earring
and you swear you felt it land Right There,
but now it's gone
even though, no,
it can't be.

I pull these stories close 
now, investing in the dream 
that earnestly Being—
being embraced even when 
the rest of the world’s sighs are
filled with an obscurity that nestles 
down into my hardwiring
—is a possibility.

The canopy that offers relief 
from the blinding scrutiny
was always waiting, a quiet 
safety, a bid 
that while sometimes 
returned clumsily 
always returns. 

Some days I kneed 
a rich focaccia
for dinner, while on others
there is time only for 
self-rising flour mixed
hastily with a can of PBR and then
smothered in butter 
to satisfy my hunger pangs—
to live another day.

And as the sun disappears 
I am greeted kindly by the 
soft incandescent bulb of a 
romance, like a prayer warm on
my skin that we can be
good to one another, 
or at least to one other. 
That I can hope 
to love. 

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