Hitchhiker

I only need a ride
across the bridge,
that’s what I told
the man
behind the wheel.
I don’t even have
any bags
to weigh us down,
just the clothes
on my back
and a little cash
only God knows
how I’d make last,
and he had
opened the door
and let me in.
He went by my eyes,
I think,
when he trusted me
not only
with his life,
but with his time.
He told me
he was going my way
but wouldn’t I want him
to drive us
into the sunset
instead?
And though I adored
the colors,
I told him I knew
he had somewhere to go,
and across the bridge
would do.

He took the scenic route
and showed me
the fork on the road
where he once
almost got lost,
and in turn
I sang him some songs
in a voice that
remembered love
and knew how to give it
and once
the lingering twilight
got so irresistible
he parked for a while
and invited me
to his backseat
to watch for a
shooting star
and we closed our eyes
and made each a wish
and they were
the same wish
and we spent the night
together
waiting for it
to come true
and it was
something to remember

but
a destination
is irreversible
and we eventually got there
the way we all
eventually get somewhere
and I left
the leather-upholstered
padded loveliness
of his car
and stepped into the night
and touched his shoulder
for goodbye

I’d asked him afterward
why
he even stopped
to give me a chance to
talk him into
giving me a lift,
a total stranger,
and he said
he had been looking
all his life
for a bridge to cross
and found me.
.

selenaredcar
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Still from Selena Gomez’s
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“A Year Without Rain” Music Video

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(photographer unknown)

Things That Have No Place

I wonder who was the first
to come up with the idea
of a place
where everything
everyone’s ever lost
ends up in?
Somehow, that always
appealed to my imagination
I found it comforting
to believe in such a place
than to swallow
that something could just
simply stop existing.
I’d rather trust that
something I can no longer see
is still somewhere material.

In the same light,
I want to believe
that there shall always be
a middle ground
in our hearts
for the things
we almost had,
you know the things
we had but kind of didn’t,
or didn’t have but sort of did,
they have a place
in some mezzanine
we sometimes pause at
in the grand staircase leading to
the ballroom of our hearts
like the fourteen-tier
crystal chandelier
nobody really pays attention to
when they pass
but is beautiful,
beautiful nonetheless.

I almost loved you
you almost loved me
we were almost together
we were almost happy
and nothing else
almost didn’t matter
because we almost
had each other
it was almost as good as
anything else we’ve had
but it was too good
to be true
so it wasn’t
true,
even if it was good

and outside
that make-believe place
that makes sense
only to the hopeful heart,
there is the hard, hard world
where you lose things
when you’re not careful
and nobody cares, really
where they go.
.

bridge
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“Something is Missing” by photographer Sabrina Cichy

Of Women and Objects

I was afraid
of you finding me
with nothing on,
not even talent
or direction,
or at least some
hand-me-down dreams.
I never had much,
and I never learned
how to haggle
but I comported myself
the best way I knew how:
with ideals tattooed
on my sun-kissed skin
that you’d have to
make me bleed
before you could take.
I had passion too,
not brand new,
but something that’s
originally mine and
has stood the test of time
that not even
the highest bidder
can borrow
for a night.
The price tag says,
“no less than a lifetime.”
It’s always been
your all
or my nothing.

* * *

But this window will not
show me
on display forever
while this square of glass
collects dust like
your indecisive heart.
If the merchandise is not
worth everything you’ve got,
do me a favor and
vacate the pavement.
Stop staring
and acting
as if you’re still trying
to make up your mind.
.

diamondring
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Natalia Vodianova for David Yurman, Fall/Winter 2008
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by photographer Peter Lindbergh

Don’t Speak

Don’t say that word—goodbye
the air around here
is bad enough without it.
It stings my eyes
like drops of acid
on my skin
and there’s more than enough
noise pollution
in my mind
to labor my breathing.
Only the reality of you
is keeping me here.
So crush that cigarette
on the ashtray.
Open a window.
And slowly,
I will purify the atmosphere
of your soul’s
discombobulation
by removing myself from it,
a little at a time.
No, let’s not have any
of those
drawn-out ceremonies
of farewell.
The sadness of it
will only break us
and make us seek
the solace of each other
and we’ll be back
to square one.
When it ends, it ends.
Meanwhile,
we can protect ourselves
from unnecessary hurt
by keeping up the masquerade
until my presence runs out.

Let’s spare our hearts
and not give names
to the reasons why,
nor dwell on
possible verbal escapes
that we know would fail anyway.
Let’s not buy any more
time,
we’ve already run out of it.
You and I
are of words,
but words are not needed here.

So let us resort to
all-encompassing smiles
and hide in their ambiguity;
use solemn nods
and poker faces
to push our way through
the vagueness and the crowd
towards the open balcony
with its precious air
and mute stars.
Keep humming
those borrowed love songs
under our breaths
so we can pretend not to notice
that we’re drifting apart
until
there is nothing
of us left,
only a you
and a me
and a long-forgotten slow dance,
a love affair euthanized
as an act of mercy.
.

smoker
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Anja Rubik, Muse Magazine Fall 2010
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by photographer Sølve Sundsbø

What He Doesn’t Know

My world revolves around him
secretly;
don’t tell him.
He dictates the weather
in my side of the globe
down to the
alphabetized names
of the typhoons.
My sun does not shine
until he tells me good morning
and I can breathe
only after he’s made me laugh.
The flow of his mind,
the music he chooses to play
for the day,
the line of attack
on reality
his conversation takes
give me the choreography
for my life’s footwork,
an itinerary
mapping my own thoughts
that I faithfully adhere to,
for fear of getting lost.
The light goes out
in my solar system
when he pays more attention
to her
than to me;
I’ve been living
in a perpetual dawn
or a suspended twilight,
the forbidden beauty
of contradiction,
of defiance,
decorating my gilded cage
with adamantine brilliance.
He is my satellite
on whose possession
I have handed over
my nights,
and a single movement by him
decides whether
I’ll sleep like a child,
or be visited
by bogeyman nightmares,
or toss and turn
in senile wakefulness.

He holds the key
to my existence
and yes, you can tell me
it’s unjust
to let him live
rent-free inside my head
but he’s worth it.
God, he’s so worth it.

Either that,
or the grandeur of my universe
is infinitesimal
compared to the
aleph-dimensional spirit
I glimpse in his right eye
—the one with the
29-year-old scar beside it—
every blessed time
he looks at me.

I wish he knew.
.

bali1
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“Bali” by photographer Maurizio Peddis

Let Me Have This Morning

It was bound to happen,
what transpired last night.
That day our paths first crossed
all those stormy months ago,
it was a done deal:
no words were needed,
although we conversed in words too,
the first gaze you blessed me with,
the first smile I endorsed you with
were enough to let us know
some day, somehow
whether we let it or fight it
we would have to consummate it
it would have to run its course
and conquer us
and sweep us away
and just take over

I still remember
the way you tasted
the way you moved
how we danced together in the dark
like a song
how I did not have to try
to match your passion, because
you just drew the fire out of me
with your purposeful kisses
unraveled me with your hands
and broke me down
with the concentrated force
from the center of your gravity

it was beautiful
it was eternal
it was everything

at the threshold of pleasure and pain
you watched me lose myself to you
over and over
and every time
I called out your name
another wall came crashing down
another question was answered
another doubt was explained away

it was that powerful

but I know
it won’t be long before
reality,
the world,
life
overtakes us
makes us guilty for being weak
returns our faculties
from our flesh
back to our thoughts
and makes us
unforgiving of our humanity
and regretful on account of
the people who would be hurt
if they ever found out
what we did

but
that would take some time.
Meanwhile,
I still have this morning
to bask in the residue
of the bliss
I shared with you.
.

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untitled photo from the image bookmarking site, WeHeartIt