Highway Hands

I can only describe her in phrases that don't make sense 

in images 

in times of night 

or metaphors.

She isn't real and never will be again. 

She's dead. I'm not. Ironic. 

She comes in waves

In candlelight

In claps of thunder 

In floods. 

Her face will flash. 

Blue and gray and dark and sunken. Dead. Me. 

That's me staring back at me. 

She's changed since last April 

Last April her eyes were lampposts 

Her collarbones were highways 

I saw them, 

They were there, but in fleeting moments 

When I drove too slow down I-75, through my neighborhood with roads too narrow. 

Her memory is written in the highway lines down the west coast of Florida and now I see her

in my window shades. 

The scars across her thighs fill in the broken slats, carved in carefully by a boy too concerned about what they'll mean five years from now. 

We look through the same window.

We match, for a moment,

But her arms are untouched. 

We're so different, though when she digs her fingertips in my shoulder blade she reminds me 

We were the same person. 

For sixteen minutes last week she squeezed my wrist until it bled. 

Threatening over and over again 

She'll watch me flatline  

Her tar pit eyes 

Her bones pushing tight against her skin 

That is not me. 


She felt warmer than usual. 

The cuffs of her jacket were tattered and soft 

And her hair was blonde, pulled back in a loose bun. 

She was gentle. 

She took a knee on the cement that once was hers

And took my hands in her own. 

"Only at night. I promise." 

She watches me off at the top of the stairwell. 

I recognized her hands. 

They're my own. 


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