We sit on the front porch of your three-story apartment building, the wooden planks unkempt with edges splintering and nails driven up through rotted holes leaving empty spaces. You smoke your non-filtered cigarette, though not the same brand I remember from childhood, the smell less aromatic. It is somehow stale and crumbling like the moments passing slowly between our shoulders. Both of us watch my child, with her sun lightened, blonde streaks curling around her face. She is cherubic and fresh sitting in the grass digging for treasure in the dark earth with an old stick, looking up at us with untamed innocence. I think about all the things I want to say that I won’t ever have the courage to, or be able to find words good enough to bear the weight of their meanings. So we talk about poems and seasonable weather and lean only close enough to hear each other. You turn your head to tell me something important and I am lost in the sunset reflected off your glasses, heart beating faster than it should, unsure of where we go from here.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by 13 Miles from Cleveland 2/09