“My favorite color is the rainbow.”-You
A sunset rested tightly on my hand. I stole it from the summer, a beautiful moment. It was an over-saturated palette of garnet formed into an arrow forever chasing itself. An infinity of ____.
I was questioned on my purpose when my small fragment of warmth was forming, long scarlet thread that tangled with its neighbors after every two or three knots. I was questioned why I huddled under that single light in the pitch of dark while everyone slept. I was questioned why those colors were chosen; the colors I looted from that summer in a bid to forever remember those elapsed moments before— like the sands of time— they fully slipped through my fingers. I would question myself and be questioned, as I had two sunsets, not one.
I could steal anything: sweatshirts, shirts, scrunchies, even sweatpants that would droop and fall off me when rolled fat. I could have everything except the faded, rose-colored corduroy scrunchie that appeared and disappeared like Houdini. Somedays it would be a glorified bracelet or snuggly wrapped around a neat bun or relaxing in the cupholder of the Del Sol or squished on the desk littered with sauntering equipment and sometimes, it would just disappear, whispering little sighs waiting to be found again.
You would appreciate it when I found it— your scrunchie long faded from its bright pink. I only have known it this way like I’ve only known you this way: weathered to beauty.
I ____ the sheepish little smile you would make when I found your scrunchie, when I found anything. You lose everything. You said, “Unless it’s in front of my face I will probably miss it. I’m pretty bad like that.”
I’m okay listening to your lost things speak softly to be found. They never push, never anger. They are patient. They are kind.
I was alone in the dark when I found you. Hunched on a memory foam cloud when your face lite the room. Pictures of you filled my brain. You on the steps of your lake house. You looked pensively over a beach; the sun kissing the land leaking a blaze of orange in that picture. You with your hair down. You smiling. You laughing. Just you, you, you…
In your pictures you wore sweaters I wanted to steal. I like your thrifted sweaters. I imagined poking my cold fingers through the worn holes with the excuse to bring my numb fingers back to their fleshy color. I just want to touch you, know you’re real— at least for now.
You asked me why I swiped. Why I talked to you. Why, after getting lost for our first visit— still strangers then— I still came.
I told you, “Because of your vibes. You emanated such chill vibes.”
Everything is gold, pure unadulterated gold. Streaming tendrils wrap the blurring world. The flashes of glaring metallic zooming by me become softer, smoother, quieter. The pavement glowed, and the fields that signaled I am close to you— sheets of knee-high grass that became whisps threaded with pale yellow— danced to me.
This hour became my period of peace, of excitement for my destination that was you. Somedays it would be disco or pop or indie, but my favorite days were when the playlist you made for me engulfed me. Your pension for acoustic music— soft buttery electric guitar, twangy acoustic, and stripped-down songs— were a welcome diversion from my usual choices of bass driven noise. They filled in the gaps from what wasn’t said. They prefaced what we had felt.
I hope you listened to my playlist. I made it thinking of you during the golden hour, it was an hour of resplendence that reminded me the world was truly extraordinary.
You like cars. Compact, lithe metal bodies that move fast, especially fast. They are your dreams on wheels. You like the tenacious dreams. The ones that consume gasoline, are never perfect, always begging to be tuned, to be dominated in a more controlled manner. You push them to move faster, quicker, brisker, swifter, rapidly, suddenly, immediately, instantaneously, breakneck.
Under the constant beam of the sun, I sat and watched while you labored over your project, a blistering metallic green Honda Del Sol that radiated heat. You had to be burning, twisting to finish your project, refusing to acknowledge your insides were melting. When you finished back burnt, body exhausted, you were pleased. Your passion project was complete.
When you drove, top off, bass booming, forest streaming by, we were complete. That was the moment I understood with the world unveiling itself in an unfurl of fresh green collapse, that was the moment I understood your dreams, your ____ of machinery.
I never noticed, but the sky has always existed. It hasn’t shattered nor cracked, no matter the weather or unforeseen object hurling through it.
We both like rainstorms which is the closest to the calm, blue sky breaking apart. The bubbling, ominous cumulonimbus clouds that sweep over acres of land, of humans— of us— and downpour. You like watching the lightening, hearing the clap of thunder, it excites and interests you. I like snuggling under a blanket, sipping some steamy liquid, and appreciating the roof over my head; it makes me feel cozy.
I touched you for the first time under an empty, summer sky. We met for the first time at a river — bitter and cold— to fling ourselves into the unknown from a thick, twine rope. I don’t think any cotton balls floated high in the stratosphere, just crystal cerulean.
Later, I laughed with you for the first time under that cobalt celling.
Later, I cried for you for the first time under the smog of heat.
Later, I ate with you for the first time under a leaky roof, older than us both combined.
Later, I ached for you for the first time under the oppression of watching eyes.
Later, I slept with you for the first time under the faint trickle of rain.
Later, much later, I plummeted into ____ with you.
The human body is full of graceful lines, of power, but the human face, a face is the portal to the soul with the eyes.
Your eyes are framed by shaded lilac most days. You exhaust yourself. You have the tendency to snuff your flame, smolder to a cold ash, drained.
I admire your ethic. Your fight. Your passive stubbornness.
It makes me push even harder.
But you need reasoning to listen. You need logic. You need someone to walk away first to tear your weary eyes away. Can I?
We have bickered over the smallest things in life: a wiry hair, a type of kiss, a system of what is deemed “cool”, an unfortunate outcome in life that led to your hands being possibly preserved in a jar on a shelf and why that idea was so wrong to be excited for.
My resistance leads to your unyielding commitment.
Your unyielding commitment leads to my further resistance.
You are lead that grows stronger under pressure.
I am iron that starts to bend under the weight.
My body was deteriorating that day, stomach bruised in ego, refusing substance and revolting in strike with sharp knives jabbing in my lower abdomen. We went to the river that day. The brown, murky Susquehanna. There’s a river walk littered with bronze statues of some importance; we didn’t walk the river walk. You don’t like walking, but it was a distraction from the pain. We descended down rocks the size of my hand to head to body to walk on the dam with rippling water flowing over it.
You are very good at skipping stones. It doesn’t matter on what size, obtrusive or minute, they obey you. Flung off with such a force, kissing the water, the water reverberating in response. A kiss so brief was it even real?
You skipped a stone to a small island of grass. It was sucked up in the shifting umber of silt. Never seen from the shore again. Your foot almost disappeared in the shoreline when we explored the world of water flowing over land, an impossible match but so enthralling to experience. I smiled brokenly. You laughed.
We made little stone homes after you tired of watching me plop rocks in large splashes, my take of skipping rocks. You made an expansive and open scene with stones. I made a clutter of bulky and fine rocks dug deep into the fine sediment. You wanted your inhabitants to be free, to be unbarred. I wanted mine to be hidden, to be protected from it all, the discomfort, the agony.
I wonder if our architecture is still there. I wonder which one the water destroyed first. I wonder which one was inhabited. I wonder many things about you.
Music is a ____ of both of ours. I used to play the clarinet; a shiny black plastic tube littered with a maze of small screws, levers, and keys. It was my mothers, a Bundy. It now sits under my bed collecting a layer of dust.
You’re an avid musician when you can spare the time. Your life is the constant rocking of waves of your ambition for performance driving and devotion to music. You have classical training on the piano, but you like bringing your guitar anonymously sheathed in its black travel case to identify you. You have the musicians gall to just perform. You did this once while we stood guard over baking coffee cake muffins. My roommate remarked, “I heard them playing, and they were like really good.”
You sent me clips of art being born, of fingers rippling over strings, of what you consider “rough drafts.” You never seem to finish a piece, or that is what you told me. You never seem to have the time, or maybe, you don’t want to. You like the room for growth. You don’t like finality.
On that day you held me tight. Both bare to the world as we talked about our future together, what we wanted, what we hoped. We clung to each other for warmth. We roved over each other in admiration. We bared some of our still leaking wounds. You kissed them away. I laid and watched in amazement, the tingle of pain dissipating. Time would pass around us, but in our world, it was motionless, meaningless.
There was a break in conversation.
You had this look, a pensive, trying to grasp me, absorb me, fully encompass me, permanently remember this perfect moment type of look. I had seen it before in passing. Each time forgetting it as I would look away.
Cocooned in the layers of my slate comforter you said, “I ___ you.”
The world held its breath.
Salty tears wanted to fall creating a saturation of color, not quite black, not quite white, but something in-between, as was how we somehow connected. Two polar opposites needed for the other to be distinguished.
I replied, “I know, I ___ you too.”
Flash of polaroid, one of your favorite past-times, marks a captured moment. An overexposed photo of me in my room just trying to beam at you in the face of never-ending eddies of light streaming through the window. In that moment I see white. I am covered in white. I am the blankness like the sheets of paper. Ready to be imprinted on, forever.
I like permeant things. They make me feel safe in a world where nothing is permanent. What is being permanent? Will you be permanent? Can you be permanent?
No. You can’t.
You can be a beautiful dream, my mirage of colors seen when time is molasses, gone just when you want to take a photograph. The pop of white dispersing the colors stretched across the sky, never seen at such a vibrancy again.
“A love letter can never be complete even with an infinity of words, but I want to try by describing my rainbow”-Me