11 October, 2016

A second-person letter.

    Bright blue clear morning skies, crisp autumn air and trees not-yet turned, filtering morning light like honey in Madison Square Park. Another audition.  You feel the mild futility of the audition mixed with its ultimate purpose: to get you out into this diamond-cut day. 

    You walk slowly around and around the park, inhaling deeply the smells of this city in the fall
roasted nuts, burnt sugar, the wafting stenches of downtown, the over-perfumed gales of up. Human musks, tilled soil, cider, exhaust. 

    You sit down upon the bench where you both met after a long silence. Shorter than this one, but still. Long. Hard. This innocent park is a dark corner of your past; it holds your secrets and your shame.

    Siting down upon a bench in a dark northwest corner, you close your eyes and feel the heat if his hand in yours, can almost summon his smell. Your hand dreams of his; it reaches out for a phantom, for a lie, for anything at all.
     Your body cries a four-in-the-morning cry. That mind, the humor, a sense of complete understanding. You know his breath. You miss him acutely. You grasp your phone to reach outbut pause. Good. You know the expulsion was necessary. Is.  What you shared was real, but unfair. 

     Or was it real? Secret loves can have no cemetery. You bury empty coffins, spread invisible ashes. 

     For a moment you allow that truth to take you over fully, folding in half with feeling. There is no metaphor to describe this pain; it is just longing, just regret. Incredible. Simple. Endurable. Terrible. And distant. Just not today, not in this moment. Now is now, and it takes you by the throat. Right now it is a tingling limb, long removed. The limb with the still-stinging nerves that burn, that punish.

     Then just as quickly it as it came, it ebbs. 

     You stand, exhale, and leave the park, and all it holds, behind you. Where it belongs.   

© Ade Santora

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