Love Like the Seasons, Love Like the Colors
June and July: A Letter
Dear Summer Nights,
If I am brave, I will leave this letter on your bedside table before I leave in the morning. I will put on a fresh set of red lips just to seal it with a kiss.
If I am brave, I will wait until you wake up, and instead place a kiss to your lips instead of to my words folded within this page. And I will watch the morning light flood the shimmer in your features. You might call me a cab.
If I am brave, I will tuck this letter beneath my pillow, and sigh into your neck. The warm body beneath my touch will squirm into a new dream. The murmur of crickets outside your bedroom window will echo through the haze of your subconscious. They will grow loud and pulsate against your skull. The whispers of my lungs against your skin will become a nightmare.
If I am brave, I will put down my pen. I will wake you up in the still, brisk of the night. The warmth of your hand will find my knee and the depth of your eyes will hollow to receive my soft words. Our thoughts will mingle in the dark air between us, as the cotton sheets absorb your wishes, my dreams, and our stories. Until day breaks, and the black room becomes gold and we have yet to let our minds sleep. I will rest my head on your chest, and my mind will rest in the creases of your palms. And the bed will be thick with the physicality of our midnight and the mentality of our 4 a.m. I will leave my sweater at the end of your bed and you will remember to invite me back for it. And this letter will never be finished.
Alas. I am not as brave as I used to be.
My skin is pink. It flushes a deep scarlet in your arms, the nerves running thick against my pulse. Your breath is indigo in your lungs, but comes out colorless in your words. Your words… I cannot distinguish one shade of gray from the next. The fingerprints I leave upon your chest are a grassy hue, like new spring, with a rich caution of evergreen bristles.
I have always wondered why the music you listen to is so much bluer than mine when I hum to all the same bands. I write my lyrics in the sky and you tie yours to rocks that you throw into the ocean after dusk. Sunsets my lipstick stains leave on your cheeks, as your lips trail tar down my back.
I want you to see the same rainbow as me, but I know this to be something that nobody can teach anybody. Both the rain and I can tell you when spring is here, but we can only wait for you to run your fingers through the grass for yourself and say, hey, everything’s not dead anymore. Last year, we waited until fall. But it was better than waiting for snowfall.
winter heat waves
your kiss is like ice against my teeth,
an enamel eruption of winter’s peak
visible breath and invisible words
that say I love you now
but maybe not tomorrow.
balmy sighs that mingle with lies
on honest lips of mine, be mine.
show me love that isn’t temporary
or a seasonal shift between want and need
that dies like wet January grass.
we corrode slow into one another
with dependent desire that heats
the space between hand and hip.
how tragic it is
that it’s summer on our skin
and winter in our bones.
Last month’s column: Poems driven by epigraphs of song lyrics. Read “The Lyrical Epigraph” here.
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