love story for sunday...

Looking at her in bad light…

He hated the way her scars looked
under the light from the television;
flat, gray, lifeless; less a part of her
than some alien growth that flanked
her spine and followed the fair, almost
nonexistent curve of her hips.
The scars didn’t bother him, they were,
in a way, a small and beautiful part of the
larger and more beautiful her. He just
didn’t like looking at her this way, lit by the
blue glow, her naked skin almost melding
into the white of the bed sheets as she lay
on her front, her chin cradled in her hands,
facing the set at the foot of the bed.
“Can I turn that damned thing off?” he asked
as he settled into a cross-legged sitting position
at the head of the bed.
She turned and looked back at him,
not annoyed, not smiling, not anything.
“I just want the weather, they keep hinting
at more snow overnight…”
“Sure,” he replied as she redirected her attention
to the silent images flickering across the room.
At least she watched with the sound turned off.
He studied the crook of her shoulders,
the flow of her back, her waist, her ass,
and her long and thin legs. He wanted to be
far enough away from her so he could see all of her
at once, but needed to be so close, all the time,
that he had to see her in small parts.
He was so very, very much in love with her.
She knew that. She didn’t take advantage of it,
like some might. Nor did she treat it with indifference.
She was happy that he was happy.
She loved him because he loved her.

“I love you, Siobhan,” he said out loud,
not realizing he was speaking.
She turned over onto her back,
resting with her hands behind her head and looked at him.
“You don’t have to tell me… I know you do.”
Embarrassed, he looked down and said,
“Sorry, just thinking out loud…”
“Nothing to be sorry about, you need to say it
as often as you need to hear it…”
“I need to hear it all the time.”

How it started…

They had been together just over a year.
They had met, quite by accident, outside a bar
in Philadelphia.
She was passing by, walking her dog,
as he was leaving the place.
He smiled at her as they passed.
She smiled back.
He stopped and almost didn’t look back.
When he did, she was.
At first, he thought she was barely out of her teens,
which physically, was almost the truth.
She had been hit by a car at the age of nine,
injured seriously and almost died. By seventeen,
she had endured a half dozen operations
to straighten and strengthen her spine,
as well as bone grafts to rebuild her hips.
The physical trauma of the accident and the
medical intrusions had slowed down her
physical development until it basically stopped
where she was between that stage of child and woman.
All the pain, however, aged her beyond her years,
and it only showed, if you could get close enough to see,
in her eyes. At twenty-six she had the tired eyes of
someone that had seen enough, but was afraid not to look
at more.
They talked, exchanged phone numbers and that was that.
Isn’t it funny that, sometimes you fall so far, and land so soft?
And so it began.


How it should have been…

Cold breezes.
Warm breathing on the back of her neck.
The smell of snow.
A knowing glance over a table.
Dusty kitchen curtains.
The sound of ice being cracked.
No “goodbyes”.


How it really was…

Disappearing act.

"I love you, Siobhan"
She rolled over onto her back,
supporting herself on her elbows.
"I'll turn the tv off, fuck the weather."
She swung her legs over the far
side of the bed and padded slowly
across the room and switched off the set.
As she disappeared in the dying glow,
the only clues of her presence were her
measured steps in the dark.


Winter is a private time.
Like the world outside hoarding it's secrets
in winter, they hid the total of their true love
from each other.
He, because he loved her so much, that
it would have consumed him to give it all
to her.
She, because, well, there was never anyone
who had wanted all of her love before, and she
held the all of it back, just a bit.
That was her fault, she knew. She had offered it
all once before and it was not a good thing.
This time was different, but she couldn't let it go,
She sat on the edge of the bed and felt
for his hand. Grasping it tightly she sat looking
out the bedroom window.
In the headlights of the passing cars, she saw it
was starting to snow, just lightly.
It was January.


Every time they touched, it was like making
Every time silent words passed between them,
it was like making love.
He loved to touch her.
She loved being touched by him.
In the dark he would trace her body with
his fingertips.
He knew every inch of her, like a
road map for the blind.
Journeys in the dark.


They rarely had sex.
They were awkward with each other that way.
It seemed like a broken counterpoint
to their love.
There were times when the physical need
took over and then it was wonderful.
But it never was the ultimate goal.
It was never like walking her dog.

Again, January.

"See, it is snowing again," she said.
"Yes," he said, releasing her hand and
slipping down under the covers.
She joined him.
He rolled over behind her and wrapped
her in his arms.
She pulled closer until they felt as one.
"Snow again," he whispered to her in the dark.
She whispered back, "It's January..."

Breakfast Special.

As he held her, he breathed in the scent of her
He loved the scent of her hair.
She worked as a waitress in a diner
a few blocks from their apartment,
and, despite showering as soon as she got home,
her hair always carried a slight reminder of
kitchen smells and cigarette smoke.

Nylon lizard.

When she came home from work at night
it was usually late and she was so tired.
He would greet her with a hug and would
unzip the back of her uniform.
She would shrug her arms out of it and
let it fall to the floor like a worn out skin.

The caffeine/nicotine astronaut.

While she took her shower, he would
put on some coffee and sit at the kitchen
table waiting for her.
When the coffee was ready, he would
pour a cup for himself and sit, looking out
the kitchen window at the dying lights of
the city, drinking coffee and chain smoking
He would blow across the top of the cup
and take a noisy sip, while the cigarettes
would bounce between the ashtray and
his lips, like some Cape Canaveral
paper heartbeat.

Pink Pearl.

And so it went.
He loved her.
He would always love her.
Even if this, for some horrible reason, ended,
he would always love her.
There was no eraser big enough to
ever remove her from his heart.

"All this..."

he thought.
And it was still January.

wander with me...



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