We were there the night that we became mortal.
It was many of us, faces blurred in half-light, which stood out then like orbs against the shadow.
I see it clear now, in my minds eye, as if I were still there.
It was a forgettable night, and we were forgettable people, living forgettable lives, and the details shouldn’t matter, but somehow they do.
We didn’t think much of anyone else then, and what counted was us.
Who we were, or rather, who we thought we were.
Who we thought we were going to be.
What mattered then was us – creations of an entity above any physical realm.
We were Gods. Unshakable.
It was a cold night, close to freezing, and though we were in California, it was the deep Mojave in the middle of a winter night.
The stars wrapped us up like a celestial blanket.
“Let’s spin baby.”
“We’re on top of the world,” she said.
And we were there, where there’s still much to see.
“Do you think we could ever go up?” she asked.
“Well, what do you mean?”
There was a slight pause.
A thought was forming.
“Up to the stars …” she said.
“Beyond where we could touch the sky. Beyond the sky!”
I smiled from the inside.
“Just you and I?” I said.
“Poetry,” she said.
Hand in hand, hands intertwined, fingers together and inseparable, even by us.
Desires were so sweet.
That night I dreamt of cities in the dark; vast plains of electric hum. Streetlights flashing on and off like blips in the pattern; while sunrise on film washed over the dark behind closed eyes.
An ocean and a whisper from the sea. Rocks, dark and jagged, thrust out from the earth, reaching in pained gestures. The earth as a colossus thirsting for the sun. Love set in permanence.
I take a breath and my nostrils pick up a cool swath of salt water. Earth eats sun in this dream and now its night.
In the dream I turn around and there’s no one there. The moon and I share half a smile each and slowly she pulls the tides closer to me while I begin to walk toward the ocean.
The next picture glows and flickers. The sky is black and orange and we stand at the bottom of a hill. We start our slow descent, but will it be like Sisyphus? Arbitrary reasons, we each have our own that keep us going.
Reasons, logic, life. Our walk beats in odd time rhythm and we could be floating.
I sense glitches in the pattern – they are the empty freeways around sunrise when the system slows down. A time when you can wake up and find the streets asleep and the signals still marking phantom traffic. A time where you can reflect in pale shadows returned to us by mirror.
It is a space for breath where you can judge your days, your pasts, your actions.
The blips allow a space for life.
Eyes blink and hide these internal traces.
Our hearts beat faster as we progress up, up, up.
Next to ocean masses, we made our promises. Of flesh and body, of health and spirit – of life yet to be lived.
Water tundra asked no reasons – gave no quarter.
We are still climbing, and When our glances meet, an electric touch works its way down into our toes. We are becoming more present.
We were becoming more present.
Warm sand and our bodies roll over it, our purpose becoming clearer laugh by laugh. Smile held and lips apart and breathing life into each others hearts.
Wanderlust through the rain.
A fragment of memory really, a far place.
Nearly at the top and we can’t stop now.
A thousand echoes rise and fall.
They are atoms smashing in my mind. Actions made constant, like clockwork.
We’re reaching the crest of the hill and our fingers begin to slip apart. Slender loaded springs of hope. The glow intensifies and as our feet reach level ground our hearts stop.
Within the city whispers, breathes. A veil of fog rests above the basin.
Up above, beyond the universe in view, in a realm of pure imagination, there’s always a panoramic shot of our cityscape – alive, electric, caught in time.
Noiseless space threads sun into the day.
The last thought was on my back, staring straight up at the pristine cloudless blue stretched like a blanket between competing horizons, between competing sides of the same bed.
I had bought her a vase and I told her to fill it up with something beautiful.
They were fragments.
We are stars.
A far place.