I remember it began like this:
Fifty two weeks,
three hundred and sixty five days ago,
a hollow stadium haunted with our silhouettes,
the night air saturated —
with the awakening aroma of coffee and dusty anecdotes.
Tonight's deep breath
is everything it was back in that nameless paper town.
Except it's a sweet nectar, red rose kind of night
and the fog is just a mist amidst mountaintops.
I wrote so many poems for you
in a language I still struggle to transcribe,
a language of silence and Earth spinning
and time passing and stars burning.
In springtime we sprouted
where we thought nothing could grow.
Here, in all the ways I told you I loved you
you heard it the loudest when I said nothing.
How after that whole stretch
of quiet foreheads pressed together 4am silence,
I whispered “I love you”
in parallel to all the stardust spilling out of my skin
and you said “I know.”
And after a beat you said, “I love you too.”
The summer sun strengthened our intertwined roots,
colored the blossoms, greened the leaves.
All the intoxicated conversations
and surprise golden hour adventures.
Autumn started beautiful... as it does.
The reds and violets, the tangerines and yellows.
October's tragedies were like falling leaves
and rotting roots.
Their aftermaths paved the path for winter's unrelenting hand.
And winter did come.
But somehow, insides not exactly optimal,
we stood, let the leaves fall where they had
and as fate had it...nothing took everything.
Folklore spilled from our lips
in nights that became morning
but there was truth in all the fantasy.
And I'd like to think the sky still smiles down on us now,
whispering an I told you so to the sea at horizons where they meet.
And so what if it took us months to say it with confidence?
And so what if it took us months of saying “See you tomorrow”
without knowing exactly when we started meaning it?
Saying it in a way that meant
“I see you in all my immediate tomorrows
and I hope I see you in what comes after that."
Ours is a morning coffee
but in bed till the afternoon type of romance,
a teeth brushed but midnight snack type of love.
I'm not as afraid of sleep as I used to be.
The nightmares that curled around every twilight waiting to pounce
have packed their bags and stepped quietly out the door.
And maybe you are the reason.
I'm in the abandoned stadium today,
seeing everything play out like a montage
with the howling wind as the background music.
I open my eyes and my slipper nudges a loose bolt.
I pick it up, tilt my head, and carved a signature, a bright red pin.
I heard footsteps and wasn't surprised.
I thought you'd have known where to find me.
You reach out your hand, offering to take me home
but I point to the bleachers where I had written "We are here."
And you take the bolt and cross out a letter or two.
You smile and rise, offering your hand to me one more.
I see you have changed it to "We were here."
And I see now all the places we have been since.
The world is awake and real and so are we.
I stand up and we walk hand in hand
back into the unnamed streets.