Subway

Newspaper crumpled as it was
folded in half, travel-size. The
late night metro smelled like
all the school kids and pressed suits
it had transported on
a rainy Monday.
You stared into the pitch black
of the racing window,
worn out eyes, hands fidgety from
the lack of a cigarette pack.
Your faded Nirvana shirt reeked
of sentimental value. I tucked
my glasses in my coat and
looked up to find you staring.
It wasn’t the kind of eye contact that
flattered you or even sent chills
down your spine. It felt
more like you were scanning
my every move, sizing
me up, counting
my breaths.
A dropped keychain,
an unfamiliar cough,
the shifting light from the windows.
I wandered into the bar, it smelled
like happy hours. We were
the only two people who would
rather be sprawled on the
corner sofa than dance
to EDM’s Top 90.
I was two beers down and bursting
with conversation. You laughed
at my shower playlist, that
annoyed me a little. So I
attacked your striped pants and
called them a midlife crisis.
I told you why piña coladas in Maui
were my alternate universe. We
argued about serial killers and
war films. I told you where all
the underground bookstores were.
The night wore on, you emptied
your pack of cigarettes. I had
never discussed Murakami
with a stranger before. It was
half past two when we
finally shuffled out. You put on
your coat and offered to share
a cab. You told me conversations
like ours don’t happen everyday.
But I let you walk into the
Monday rain, where we were still
strangers on a subway.

House Arrest

Heavy with sleep and layers of warm clothing, we woke up to an early sunrise, light filtering in through faded curtains and cracks in the roof.

We sat cross-legged on the edge of our mattress, warm teacups in hand, wispy breaths tinged with hope for a sunny day.

But as we watched, the clouds shifted, the morning light sped from orange to grey and sheets of rain outside the window spelled our house arrest.

Geraniums

Parched twine cuts the skin of my thumb as I carefully untie the thread around my journal.

My hand runs over the faded paper; like dried flowers from summer, swollen clouds to puncture with my pen.

I stumble through the silence after an avalanche, the twisting clothesline in my stomach and the bales of cotton in my head.

I run to feel the wind in my hair, my thoughts rattling like a badly driven car.

I miss the beat to an old, schoolyard song and hum in misshapen verses.

I sit cross-legged, the jute meshwork of the window seat painted onto my calf.

I stare at the geraniums on the other side of the glass, a dewdrop clinging to the deep purple of it’s petals.

It is elegant in the way it tricks you into believing it is ordinary.

Dusted with misty cobwebs and pollen grains like powdered sugar.

I watch the edges of each flower ruffle with the temperamental breeze, chiffon skirts protecting their modesty.

I look up to see that the clouds have turned more white than grey.

I wrap the twine around my journal.

The torrential rain has given way to a light, blue sky drizzle.

Subtitles

The air sang of yesterday’s rain and clouds bursting with thought.

I sat cross-legged on a wooden bench, absorbed in bits of conversation and quiet laughter.

I watched him spin his spaghetti into little knots on his fork, and wondered if I understood true love.

Our shared glass of lemonade had left it’s stamp on our table and the ice was dwindling in the summer heat.

His socks peeked above the hem of his faded canvas shoes; they were canary yellow with chocolate sprinkles.

I smiled because they reflected his soul.

Our conversation was scattered bits of memory and attachment, it spun around in the air till it formed our very own cloud of thought, full to bursting and floating above our heads.

I found connections so rarely, without physical contact.

And as unromantic as our Sunday lunch was supposed to be, the concept was a rather romantic notion.

I felt it under my skin, creeping to the recesses of my heart and pulling out secrets I hadn’t yet told myself.

The walls of privacy crumbled slowly, but crumble they did. And I did not try to build them back up this time.

With shaky smiles and nervous eye contact, I found that true love or not, with him, my actions did not need subtitles.