time has dropped its hands in my lap, there is only a before and after you.
memories weave themselves throughout my moments, no rest, even for the weary.
when i close my eyes, you’re there. behind my lids, like a movie,
the VHS film, delicate and crinkled winds itself around my fingertips.
i place my heart in the VCR and press rewind, i must’ve watched us a million times;
queen of corn palaces and balls of twine, road warrior, still battling mile markers,
scar across your furrowed brow, talking in poetry…the last of a dying breed,
true romantics can’t even speak our tongue
reading maps, the folding kind. my legs tick tock, tick tock
my arms are restless, i reach for you in the dark, only more night comes
i examine stars like they’re freckles on skin, searching constellations
for signs of you. strung out on hope, movies, and memories-
for a moment i feel you, so i don’t give up on wondering
what happens to us when we die.
i’ve a newfound faith in a cactus’ ability to teach us lessons in how to keep love alive
and you stretch out in front of me, like the vast expanse of desert floor,
like mountain meadow with a meandering stream,
like the fruited plains, switch grass rolling like ocean waves
there isn’t a place i can run to escape memories of you, memories like movie-
from sea to shining sea, left coast to right now
i press my tongue to the roof of my mouth
swallowing hard, turning in bed, twisting in sheets,
recalling the sound of you snoring, recalling the sound of your happiness
scared i might forget what that means, worried your ghost won’t remember
the good in me.
-i press pause.
we are frozen in a single embrace
your hair gently falls across my face
my arms crush you, as i squeeze
“okay, mom. see you soon”