Sunday, January 1, 2012

New day (For Nicole)

I woke up early this morning and set the house on fire. I stood in the yard facing a riot of flames and a comparatively understated sunrise. The bellowing heat dried the dew from every blade of grass in the yard. I backed away once my face felt singed by the shimmery air, and my feet stayed dry, even at dawn.

You were inside the house, and you didn't make a sound. I briefly considered how it would have been otherwise. I thought about the slurred and yawning expanse of my life spent gazing at you across the kitchen table. I thought of the clotted, wordless winters, the hushed and stifling summers, a succession of silent seasons to usher us back into the earth.

I thought, too, about the cling of your spidersilk hair between my fingers, the clasp of your teeth on my lips, the brine of your skin on mine in the morning, the soundless way you slumbered as I creaked the cupboard open for matches. I thought of how I could have spent eternity that way, tasting your salty skin, winding my fingers in your hair, coaxing a muted syllable from your lips.

But what kind of a life is that?