All About Being Rescued
As our minds travel in the same direction,
back to the same scene,
back to the moment of laughing out loud.
Traveling to the exact same place,
where we both knew just
what the other one meant.
Back yet again, to a time
when no more words were necessary,
when one word described everything.
We go back to when your long bony fingers
entwined themselves with my soft stubby ones.
Yours so cool, mine so warm.
Hands together, holding on.
Holding on to keep from falling.
Holding on to keep from stumbling
into holes in the ground covered by leaves.
The same holes in the same ground
where we had fallen too many times before.
Holding hands to keep from being washed away
by an unexpected wave that got so big,
so fast it knocked us off our feet,
covered us with sandy pieces of sharp shells.
Made us forget where we were going.
You got off the bus. I could see your eyes
because you were short, like me.
You took my hand, my chubby hand
with your thin gnarled fingers and
walked away with me, next to me,
near me, talking and not talking.
We seemed to know where to go
down a street, into a car, off of a highway,
under a tunnel. You found me.
I found you. We recognized each other
from now, from then, from before
we even knew ourselves.
We seemed to both be lost.
Losing everything haphazardly.
Losing books, tickets, pieces of paper,
our sense of direction, losing
time and place and patience, losing
games, losing out on what everyone
else seemed to know, seemed to own.
All I know is that you also knew
what it was to be lost.
Lost in the spaces between letters.
Lost in the silence of a mind grown still.
Lost in the darkness behind closed eyes.
Lost in the presence of people we were
supposed to know or be.
We were supposed to rescue each other.
We were meant to be rescued by each other.
It was all about being rescued, wasn’t it?
A thousand words line up like little soldiers.
Ready to do battle on my behalf,
to throw themselves into the fray
in a sacrificial gesture.
My army of argument.
Words fly between us.
Back and forth they flutter, stutter.
They crash into one another
on the way from mouth to ear.
We speak simultaneously.
Words spread over, under
and around each other,
banging into one another.
Losing their meanings,
dropping their sense,
echoing in rhythm and sound,
syllables, vowels, consonants
detaching from one another,
turning into music, drumbeats,
harmonies, tapping like drops of water
from a dripping faucet.
Words sailing across the space between our faces.
Words coaxed, yelled, whispered, wrapped tightly
in a blanket of trepidation, thrown across
the field, a football of antagonism.
Words sputtered with drops of saliva,
propelled by breathlessness.
Finally, finally, the stream runs dry.
The words have turned to sand.
Lost in a desert of unspoken words
neither one of us can find our way.
Distant and Estranged
“Distant,” I say.
“Estranged,” you reply.
“Leave me alone,” I say.
“I can’t hear you,” you answer
from too far away.
Space and silence is your preference.
You luxuriate in space and silence.
I am either too cold or too hot.
Cuddled up under the covers together,
I can’t breathe, overcome by heat and sweat.
By myself in the bed I shiver,
in the cold of aloneness.
I live in the tedium of everyday life.
You dwell in the recesses of a well-worn brain,
hiding in the curves and crevices of cortex and cerebellum.
A healthy homemade muffin in hand, I search for you.
I suspect you are hungry and need nourishment.
I would melt my own body into a liquid
pouring it into a bottle for you to drink from,
sweet as honey, full of herbs and spices.
More than likely you would choke,
on the dense nature of my gift.
You pluck words from inside your skin with great care.
You wrap them with ribbons and leave them on my door step.
Unaware, I sweep them off my porch
into the dirt below. I leave
you in your hiding place.
I take my own body back to bed.