an eternity till april

Is it spring where you are? I waited all winter.

The first day of spring always makes me think of you--the day you stop wearing jackets and scarves and start wearing summer clothes, and remind me how beautiful you are in a whole different way. Even now, even since you're long gone. The chaos of the changing seasons is on us now, and yesterday the sky was clear and the temperature was perfect for jackets and scarves, and I found myself in the park with the sun on my face and I said, "I'd be happy if spring never comes, if it just stays like this forever." It was a prayer to the sky, and the sky said nothing in return.

But that night I slept and I dreamt that my words had stilled the change of the seasons, that I had forever solidified the weather of that day. Every day will be perfect for jackets and scarves, the streets bright with cherry blossoms and the promise of leaves that will never come. There will be no spring, no burning summer sun, no dying autumn leaves, no bitter winter winds. Just today, that perfect day before spring. And you will be banished from my thoughts like a ghost.

I woke feeling refreshed and alive and hopeful, but the wind today felt dead, and the rustling of the wind seemed to have the taint of the grave about it. The sun shone wanly in a sky of a dull and listless blue. I sat in the park and watched the clouds, and I swear I saw your silhouette, just for a moment, before the wind picked up and blew all the clouds into fingers pointing south.

Did you end up going south when you left? Will you bring the springtime if I come and find you? Because I recant. I will not invoke the sky again. I want to see you smiling in the perfect endless light of the summer sun, to see you play in a pile of freshly raked autumn leaves or make sculptures from snowdrifts blown by the winter winds. And I will wait for April, if I must, if you return the spring to me.


a conversation, provided with minimal context

With apologies to A____, who deserved and hopefully received better.

I got the feeling she was presenting me to him, which is odd because he wasn't her boyfriend--that was someone else. He'd introduced us. "He's walking me home," she announced. She told him we were both drunk off our asses. I grabbed my coat and left my bag behind.

We both knew that this was not about walking home. This was about the cool March air, and all the various places we could think of to put our lips. But we danced around the subject as we walked aimlessly. She accused me of being a cynic. "It wouldn't kill you to actually like something for once," she said, taunting me. She sat down on a tree stump.

"Are you saying I don't like anything? I like some things." I pretended to be affronted. It took some doing, because all I could think of was kissing her--but we'd been dancing around the subject for so long, taking the direct approach seemed unthinkable. Not that we were being subtle at this point. I could read everything in her eyes, her expression, her tone. I have no doubt I was just as much of an open book.

"Prove it." This was not a challenge, but a request, a plea: stop this dance.

"How am I supposed to prove that?" A flimsy pretense.

"You know how."

I did. Most of what followed didn't count as much of a conversation, but pretenses were dropped now. She told me she had a boyfriend, and I said I knew. "But you don't give a fuck," she told me, and I suppose I must have shaken my head. I had other things on my mind.

She invited me back to her place. We were against the hood of someone's car--God knows whose--and I hesitated. I made up some excuse about needing to get my bag, or maybe I just said we probably shouldn't. I finished walking her home, then hoped I could apologize without words. Then she was gone and I walked back to the party alone and waited in the wings like a ghost.