Tell me to back off and I’ll know you mean it,
but neither of us wants that,
all consequences accounted.
You’re complicated, it’s complicated,
but good and easy aren’t the same.
I’ll work for it.
We’ll say the right things, then say the wrong things.
It’ll be lots of paperwork:
negotiations, compromises, assessments,
evaluations and risk/benefit analysis
until we conclude what we can already guess:
the answer is yes.
This is the way it *should* go,
trace the spark to its tinder,
ask the hard questions,
refer back to the map,
be quiet and listen to your blood,
look into your own face for the evidence:
oh, hello me, hello you, hello me.
Had we been foolish,
had we acted like teenagers,
sneaking out behind the church after dark.
Had we done instead of discussed:
been impulsive, reckless, destructive,
I would know it was wrong.
But here: I lay down my hat,
you tell me the rules,
I ask, you respond,
take turns in creation,
collaborating thoroughly between thrills,
the adrenaline, anticipation,
answers unpeeling; shedding down to their raw crux:
the answer is Yes.
I motion for you to sit in my lap.
You raise an eyebrow but oblige.
I tuck my arm under your knees: ‘gotcha’.
Already some part of me knew
it wasn’t a joke.
I feel the head of another rest against my shoulder.
You’re not here and I notice
and I notice
and I notice.
The stale echo of our last fevering play sounds:
the attempted quip,
the crack in the fourth wall,
the laughing onlookers feeling distant
like an audience,
and there’s just the twin dark flames of your eyes
consuming the pews with fire.
After the last tragedy struck,
I saw the tremble in your jaw,
so I held tightly to you:
here I am,
I’ve got you.
The song changes,
the weather flares,
I come prepared.
I pack for sun, rain, hail, wind, snow.
I listen to my blood say:
‘go, go, go!’
‘yes, yes, yes!’
We reach out,
we stretch further,
we turn up the heat,
Do you feel how we’re alone in a blink —
the blurred surroundings,
I watched you before I knew you,
some slow determined magnetism
pulling us here.
Still, I search my pockets once again for doubt,
even when they’re inside out,
but all my hands are filled with