Friday, July 2, 2010

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There's a picture of us on Halloween
The night we sailed three hours down the river.
Triple-fisting drinks, until I couldn't stand in my heels, laughing, dancing,
Threatening to hold hands and jump off of the back of the boat together,
Find some new world under the water to exist in.
Where half-baked, hair-brain ideas were currency,
We would be king and queen - invest in barnacles, plankton.
Jacqueline Cousteau, you said. You were jealous of my name.
On the bus ride back we stuck our heads out the window
Shared a wet, limp cigarette, and each drag was a toast -
Because at that moment, our city was the most beautiful thing we'd ever seen.
And so we had Eliot drive us to the river, we ran!
Jumped in with our costumes on, and the river claimed my hat.
We spent hours dancing, soaking wet at the same bar I would later lose you at,
When you were so drunk that you fell asleep between cars.
(The night you told me I saved your life as I dragged you into bed).
But I digress (always).

Back to the photograph.

It was Richmond in October,
And you can tell in the picture that it was still hot
Our skin rosy, glistening, both of our costumes over the top,
What I notice most about the photograph is our hands.
How tight our grips are: yours around my shoulder, mine your waist -
As if letting go would have meant falling.
And it would have.
We needed each other then.
This is, of course, a metaphor, (isn't everything?)
For the six months we spent separating from each other.
Grasping onto mirrors of ourselves,
Until we realized that parts of the reflection were missing.
Large, important sections: the left side of your face, my ribs...
Your heart, my head. That's right, isn't it?

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