“We could run away, you and I, into the mountains,” she says. And it’s such a beautiful thought that I allow myself to believe, just for a minute, that we could survive in the snow, with the bears and wolves.
“We could steal a boat,” she laughs, and it’s so ridiculous that I join in.
“We could wave at the dolphins and the whales as they pass by, and wake up to the kind of filling silence I know you like.”
“We could travel the world,” she whispers, just as I’m falling asleep. “I’ll take you to Paris or Bermuda or Rome or Crete. The water tastes different there, like berries, it’s sweet.
She kisses me gently on the top of my head,
“And you’d like the sky there, in these places, I bet.”
She is standing at a junction when you see her. Her head bounces along to a song you can’t hear and you wonder what songs she sings in the shower these days. She used to joke that singing wasn’t her strong point, but you loved her Sunday night humming against your head, her smile against your mouth, your fingers curled in her dress.
Her eyes open a little wider when she sees you and then she smiles and gives you a wave. There isn’t much time for talking as you walk past each other and the green man begins to flash. You think her hair looks different, not so much the colour or style, but the way it frames her face. She doesn’t look so girlish when she says hey, and offers you a grin. And when she walks past you, you can’t help but turn back and watch. You wonder who listens to her talk about the stars at night, or who carries her home when she’s drunk.
Three years ago she said she loved you, and today you almost say it back.
I’d never cared much for strawberries, but that summer her lips were stained so red that they were all I tasted.
And I’d never had a favourite fruit, but two years on, a new girl sits in front of me, laughing at my jokes.
“If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” She asks playfully.
And I remembered how her hands traced the veins in my neck and made their way across my chest. I remembered her soft breathing and arms draped around my shoulders.
“Strawberries.” I told her. “I could live a life on nothing but strawberries.”
As I recall, your eyes were a pretty shade of blue,
Not as deep as the ocean, but deeper than you
As I recall, your voice was like my favourite song,
Not a melody to most, but a treasure to all
As I recall, your hands shook when we kissed
Not out of fear, or of nerve, but out of pure, untamed bliss
As I recall, you loved me, and I loved you too
But I recall no happy memories of my time with you.
There is a thunderstorm where your ribs were once cracked
Where I snapped them like wishbones to take out your heart
There’s a tsunami in your veins, flooding out from your eyes
Did you crush your own heart, dear, to feel less alive
There’s an ache in your stomach, you spit out bones and wings
Force it back down your throat, dear, get back down on your knees
Did you break all your fingers, the day you touched him?
That should teach you, little girl,
Not to play games with me.