An Island of Us

Photo by Mark Merton

A relief to walk alone
after the press of company
the demand for painted faces
and strained smiles

We wander deep in mud
wordless through the oaks
reels of our togetherness
playing in fractured minds

I remember

Road trips to escape the rest
when we were enough
the breeze playing with your hair
your hand resting on mine on the shift

Later, your moonlit skin in the lonely valley
goosebumps when my fingers traced
the down on your belly
insides like satin warmed in the sun

How easy to let life intrude
on our sacred intangibility
to converse in staccato beats, abandoning
the meandering whispers of lovers

This is not us

Strangers in a too small bed
where you lie, curled up like a paper ball
imprints of your nails on clenched palms
eyes smudged with kohl

When the world intrudes
we will reinforce our walls
and barricade our love until
we return to the beginning of our story

I will unfurl your fists
smooth out your brow
every word you utter
I will prize as a jewel

And touch you anew until
you reach trembling highs
For us, I will find light
to counter the dark

A renewal

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