Gyroscope Review 16-4 - Page 61

LOVE POEMS KRISTEN SHARP BY I. I woke to an immense thunderstorm, the rain pressing in through the screens and the smell of dirt and running water volatilized in the moonlight. You were sleeping. Everything was wet and expansive and resounding. The rushing water smelled like shale and Campari. I climbed out to the fire escape and watched the deluge from the fifth floor, leaned against wet bricks, the Bronx streets shining. II. You taught me how to smoke cigars on a lawn on Liberty Island, New Jersey, in view of a Midtown skyline that shimmered in heat haze as if viewed through the exhaust of a jet engine. Drinking champagne and lying on the clipped grass in pink sunglasses and seersucker, the skirt of my dress spread around me, and you in pastels, arms splayed out like an archaeopteryx wing, a fossil bird. We watched polo under a crowd of saffron umbrellas. III. Once, your roommate’s mom let me in on a night when you fell asleep waiting for me to get off the subway. When I woke you up you asked me how I got there—it seemed like more than just a logistical question. And when you lay under sheets you looked like one of those mummies in the Egyptian wing at the Met, dried up, strangely small, your hands folded on your chest, a galaxy of freckles on your pale left shoulder. IV. You said the time you spent with me was the only time when you felt comfortable in your own skin. Afraid of who you were and where you came from. A family history of suicide. Snow on a stoop in Brooklyn, the steps slick, the tree outside your house covered in ice. Your hair pulled back, combed behind your ears, hunched over your knees in a wool sweater. `You stared at the ground. You said I wasn’t what you hoped I’d be. V. The last time I saw you we weren’t speaking. The group sprinted down Miami Beach in the dark, spilling sugar and mint leaves from mojitos in plastic cups, glow sticks around our arms fluorescing pink and yellow. We splashed into the surf and ran out, wading into the warm gulf waters. The rest of the group had dispersed across the beach until they were out of sight and you and I found ourselves alone, out in the ocean. I could barely see you treading water, swimming in our clothes. When we returned to shore I lay down on the sand and I expected you to do the same—I believed that was the moment our trajectory could change, if we both wanted it enough. You didn’t stay. You went back and rejoined the others. 
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