And she realised she could not let her eyes meet his anymore.
Superficial magazines, poorly distributed
Evenly, around the moulded bench
Headlines about anything different,
And nothing that was about to happen.
I was encountering my nightmares
And they were hands I could shake,
The validation of a pair of eyes
The same colour of the shadow swallowing them.
Scraping the bottom of one barrel,
The print on a shirt I imagined to tear up,
Dressed by the lady I didn’t want to be friends with.
The lips were numb against the wind
– and the cold,
and the silence.
I yelled at you,
As you were the only face to see.
But mine were the legs that wandered at the fastest pace,
Finally surrendering at the perimeters of a seat.
And again I waited,
Tracing the rituals of my curse,
For the heartbeat to pass and for you to be back,
To return to the nightmares.
Would there ever be Ever, not soon Enough plasticity of the mind Allowing one – me – to figure out Each one of the weapons?
I believed it firmly, It felt no harm, It carried no shame. I could have battled Many more million years.
You were there plenty
You were not enough of.
I haven’t noticed the exact,
As you unfolded,
When I was looking elsewhere, When I wasn’t ready Quite yet.
He had never seen such spirited eyes, flustered face, restless movements in Jonathan before that day; who seemed of being too unaware of the weight of his words when proclaiming,
“She is the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen”
His inwardness exasperated her, his disorganization made her vent in hours-long phone calls while the listener stirred on a chicken soup – i.e., her mother living in Long Island.
But every time she heard him sliding under the duvet at night, trying not to wake her up even if he still smelled like walnuts and pecans, she knew there was nothing she wouldn’t do for him.
It had never occurred to her before.
She watched her father carelessly polish the buttery crab meat from the corners of his mouth – 40% of which had remained in the shells, the wine he would try and pour in his glass only to notice it was closed and thus beckoning the assistance of Amelia just to uncork the bottle.
Her father kept moving with the same pattern she’d seen every dinner time despite the words of the magistrate, whose baritone voice much resembled her father’s:
“You should have accepted that” – to that her father kept on gulping wine and seafood, but with the trepidation, now she noticed, of someone consuming his last supper.
Her mother smacked her hand still holding the seared sea scallop. This returned into the plate violently, splashing the key lime vinaigrette onto her white blouse.
“Mom!” she protested.
“I told you to use a knife and fork” her mother uttered while skewering a fish morsel with a prong.
He glimpsed her figure from the canape side of the table. He had been stopped by the new Associate professor to discuss the lecture notes for History on Medieval Literature.
But he was looking at the red dress she was wearing. They bought it together a couple of years back in Panama, it had a deep neckline encrusted with irregular pearls. It slid slightly across her small breasts as she told a story to a gathering around her, who burst into laughter at the end of it.
She caught his sight – he stood next to the professor with his fists descending along his suite, recalling her mouth screaming, her watery eyes from earlier that afternoon.
She smiled at him. And it took a couple of seconds to him to smile back.
It was only a second’s fraction, a skin’s particle passing by within the beat of an eyelash; but yet, she longed to believe that his touch was anything but accidental.
He wouldn’t ask the exact amount, but he knew the number of Sarah’s previous partners couldn’t be counted on two hands.