“Tell me why you don’t believe in God, and then you’ll know why I don’t believe in love.”
Saturated, the grass squelched with ample rainwater beneath bare feet. Stray blades latched to pale skin, feathering it with green. June weather — around seventy-five degrees and dropping. The storm made sure of that. Thunder bludgeoned the air, fracturing the setting sun-stained sky with veins of lightning, allowing bits of heaven to bleed through. It seeped in heavy coagulations, popping against the flesh of leaves which bristled from the thin-trunked trees, forking from the earth. These canopies inadequately shielded the few lichen-spotted gravestones beneath them. Others scattered about the cemetery became darkened with rain. The water nourished the rust already abundant on the low-laying fences, sectioning off clusters of graves from the rest.
She chose this place because of the way the light looked the last time she was there. The last time she was there, the sun filtered down in rich sheets, interrupted only by the full branches, casting shadows on the ground. The rare whites of surviving marble glowed in this light. The leaves and grass reflected the gold. It was fairytale.
And she had always loved cemeteries. When she was young, they would take their dog to run in the cemetery. She and her relatives would zig-zag through the headstones, using them as stepping stones to climb trees. The cliche eerie ambiance was unknown to her.
The rainfall eased. Reduced to a moderate sprinkle, the weather permitted the appearance of resident fireflies. She gasped at the first flash. In a shadow, magnificent light burst from the insect but quickly dimmed. Dozens, if not hundreds, of others appeared as time passed. More than once she would just stop and look, willing her eyes to memorize. The remaining light is slate grey. Just a hint of blue. Before her is a collection of three or four trees, each surrounding three headstones that have their backs to her. But in this little grotto, fireflies dance in and out of sight: sharp decrescendos. The air is clean, shaken by the thunder, energy absorbed and dispersed by the lightning. She removes her hood and better hears her favorite sounds.
She chose this place to disintegrate.
or turn to a new page, fingers twitching, chest heaving with a sigh, just hoping
that words might come to me like they used to.
And it’s been like this for nearly two years.
The jagged horizon, dimly it glows.
Is it from fires the sun left behind?
Or the chariot trail of Helios?
The night never leaves us completely blind.
Maybe Orion lent heaven his belt
To keep the far ends of the earth contained?
Perhaps halos of fallen angels melt
To contribute to that warm light maintained?
Not even the wind whispers an answer,
The silence choking the thin, mountain air.
The constellations become slow-dancers
The longer we find ourselves laying there.
_____Faint comets tear the atmosphere in two.
_____The only thing keeping me warm is you.
Even though I was soaked from head to toe, it didn’t feel like enough. It was never enough. I waded farther and farther into the water itself, until I floated underneath the surface, listening to the rain pound above me. I held my breath as long as I could. Until the beating of my heart was louder than the rain stabbing into the waves. Then I would go to the surface and breathe. I went down several times, each time hoping that instead of just on the outside, the water around me would cool my insides. I was hot. I could feel the heat I left behind in the water when a wave would push me forward or back. I seemed to exude some sort of energy that would not let up. I felt like the sun in a subzero universe. I was hot, but all around me, it was cold. The ocean and the universe then seemed to me interchangeable. The ocean gnawed away at the edges of the earth, eroding it, expanding its reach. And the universe did the same, except it ate away at the edges of Heaven, pushing it farther and farther away from us.