E Dale

We stood bare foot with painted nails on the stoop of my studio
where once we first stepped timidly
together
heel, toe
heel
toe
And you carried my bags
Even though they weighed something like forty-four pounds
and I said not to worry about it
Thunder spoke through the walls and we listened, ushered outside
It stormed around us
With my arms crossed behind your neck I leant on you
cheek on your shoulder
pressed tight against your back,
doused in the smell of a summer storm in The Springs
rain playfully polka dotting our tee-shirts
I was scared that you would forget me
You sang to me,
in blue and white sheets you sang
You were quietly nervous, I think
I wore peach vintage nylon and lace and no makeup
You watched every move I made sensitively
ready to catch me as I stumbled over unfamiliar terrain
stop me from stepping into traffic because the cars are on the wrong side of the road here
You opened doors for me
the car door and
every door I ever dared dream of; there you were
standing beside
with your shirt unbuttoned almost one button too many
pushing up your aviators and killing me with that smile
Holding the door to my home wide open
You paced beside the bed in heeled boots and spoke to me avidly
Told me your stories
hushed when you recalled hurt
and I watched your mouth curl when you spoke of happiness
I saw your eyes as you heard me say
“I love you”
It was the night before I left
they flickered, you might have been trying not to cry and I kissed you
I think you heard my soul while you held me
tracing patterns over the garden of my back
giving me valleys and peaks and my very own rose bed
On borrowed time I was your little bird
and I am
and I always will be

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