Take me into a wide open field at four in the morning and gaze at the stars. Bring a picnic blanket and sandwiches, so we can eat together in tranquil silence. I will break the silence with a question, whispered softly into the thick night. Then more will come–questions, questions–they will spill from my mouth like black tar. Don’t answer the questions. Wrap your arm around my shoulders and help me quiet my mind. Tell me stories of dragons and of fairies, spaceships and rockets, fables and folk tales. Tell me all your stories, and I will tell you all mine. Secrets, unknown to the world, I will shout to the moon and the stars. Ponder with me the deep mysteries of life and living. Think aloud. Hide nothing. We will get drunk on the dark sky, high on the giddy memories of old. Pretend we don’t know how to walk so we can teach each other how. Squeeze blackberries on my face so I can close my eyes and feel the juices run through my eyelashes and onto my awaiting tongue. Sing softly and let your voice be swallowed up in the night. I promise to sing with you, so our voices can play and dance together in wonderful harmonies. Weave flowers into my hair. I will give you clumps of grass–if you use them to rub into your clothing, I will do the same. Let’s take off our shoes and socks and throw them into the void. Forget the morning. Forget our obligations. Forget everything except the very moment. I want you to love yourself as much as you love the winking stars. You want me to love myself as much as I love the kind moon. We can learn to love ourselves together under our glowing friends in the sky. Be honest with me, so I can discover the curious person you are. I will pour all my pain into the wind–catch some and learn every inch of it. Keep it in a jar until it is no more. Tell me, what exactly are you thinking? Empty your mind into my hands and let me sift through each fragile piece of it. I will empty mine too, and mix the pieces until we no longer know whose thoughts are whose. We can organize them later. Undress the hurts within you; expose your demons. We can laugh at their pitiful nakedness together until they shrivel up and plague you no more. Unleash my heart and let it gallop away on a summer breeze with yours by its side. Untie my soul, then tangle it up in yours. Bring my ear to your chest and let me listen to the rhythmic pumping of your heart, pushing life and love through your veins. Gaze into my eyes and study every detail of them. Cradle my face in your hands and learn its shape by heart. Kiss me, taste my insecurities falling away. I want to see your anger and sadness melt. I want us to feel the sparks of freedom that burn deep within our hearts, our bodies, our minds. Stroke my head as I fall asleep. Sit by me and sing softly until I have slipped into dreams. Then lay next to me, so I can wake up to the warmth of your embrace engulfing me.
I miss summertime.
I miss sipping powdered orange juice with my feet in glowing, tepid lake water. I miss the buzz of fireflies in my cupped hands. I miss when the days were long and the shorts were short. I miss looking up at a velvety night sky sprayed with starry sequins. I even miss the itch of grass and the burn of black pavement under my bare feet.
There was nothing to worry about. I had metaphorical wind at my back, days and days to waste like water, and sunshine melting on my skin. I had a sad, wistful air about me, but in a carefree way. I could wipe my tears away with flower petals, then toss them away into the forgiving July breezes. Birds would always serenade me in the morning, never waking me before I’d completely rested.
It is nearly November. I can feel the winter breathing in the morning, rustling the leaves off their branches. Winter is coming. It stomps and screams and threatens, a bed of razor-sharp knives below me as time lets go and watches me fall. I am bracing myself for gray skies, trees stripped of their colors, runny noses and too-thick parkas, flakes of snow drifting to the ground only to melt into wet drizzle on the sidewalks.
I can feel winter breathe in the autumn air.