But to Breathe 4/22/10

The shadow of the chain-link fence falls across your face and bare shoulders. Sweet caramel skin. The clean smell of metal makes my head spin, And as I clutch the fence for support, I feel it bite into my skin; Stinging, sharp; Creating a tempting lullaby of crimson and steel. Around us the air is desolate, Like your eyes. Rust and metal and regret. Like caging the ocean; Wild and untamed. You stand on the other side, And stare at me; Barely moving but to breathe. You don’t look angry, or scared, or hurt, You just look . . . Like you always have. You look unpredictable. “I’m sorry,” I whisper through the feel of metal on my lips. The idea that the pathetic words will get caught in the chain-link crosses my mind, But I know you hear them. Why am I always the one who ends up apologizing? There really is no point. Your eyes are cast into dark shadow, Each one becoming a black disk of polished obsidian. You finally move, Letting your hands fall away from the fence down to your side. A fear sets in; Panic jumps to my eyes. I feel the end coming, And now the fence feels more like a separating knife blade than anything else. Every particle in my body screams for this to continue,

Even though I’m not really sure what I’ll be missing when it goes. The smell is back, Metal saturating my thoughts, And I find myself on my knees; Chain-link against my forehead. I look up at you, and ask, “Why? Why do you always do this?” Do what? I’m not even sure what I’m asking anymore. You stare for another moment and then shrug, Turning to walk away. You don’t look back. Of course not; That would be so unlike you. And as you turn away, The shadow of the chain-link fence falls across your smooth back. And it is at this moment, I begin to wonder, Which side of the fence I’m really on.

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