When the buds opened up
for springtime, all the men and women threw off their shirts to play frisbee on the university quad. All the trees were weeping petals
, the air warmed up enough at night I didn't need a jacket, just a pair of children's gloves
, or perhaps a pair of warming hands.
You know what they say, though cold hands, warm heart
. For what I had inside me, I couldn't touch him anymore without we both would shiver, without he would recoil, run and hide under layers of blanket
, and he did.
We hadn't had a lot of use for words, ever, even though we'd used them to keep each other warm, and the ghosts of those words hung over us like clouds
now, the kind your breath makes in winter, and now, apparently, entirely worthless.
We parted in favor of our respective cells
and suffered our respective depressions
and broken hearts
, alone this time, with few words for each other, if any at all. The ones we got were worked around a clock (in my nightmares my whole life shapes up like this
), bitter and insincere. We couldn't come any closer to touching than that, those sloppy sarcastic exchanges that have since been supplant
ed by silence.
I was thinking about the summer we found a shlef of limesicles
, priced, by some ridiculous fluke, at 15 cents a pop. They became a daily rite for us, and nearly as good as swimming in the skivvies
or thieving fruit at midnight. Messy all those summers before this, hot and wet and strictly pagan
, for the weather was too hot for church anyways, and we had a sun god to see - til the grocery store caught itself and jacked up the price, leaving us to buy generic or attempt a couple of gacky and desperate attempts
at homemade popsicles, most of which we forgot before they even froze.
I found a whole tray full of them the other day, concentrate made tougher
and burned in my old freezer. I cracked the tray and took it on the lawn, sucking every bitter cube in the sunshine, swiping at my tears with sticky, red, juice-covered hands. I meant to bring you over this time
, I meant to hold your hand, so charmingly heathen, your skin is like a teardrop on a popsicle
. I meant to give you everything, even if and when you didn't want it.