It was early.
We’d never woken up that early before. You asked me to walk you to the corner and I did. As the city awakened, cars grumbling by, I listened to the echo of our footsteps on concrete, thought of all the things I hadn’t said yet, all the ways I still hadn’t touched you.
I stopped near the stone walls and pulled you towards me. I tangled my fingers into your hair, rested my cold cheek against your shoulder. We kissed and smiled and held each other. We knew each other was hurting but it was a good kind of hurt. The kind you feel when you know you’re growing, when your heart expands so much ribs start cracking.
A part of me wanted to walk you all the way home, hold your hand until your front door closed on my palms but I knew I couldn’t. I wrapped myself around you again, squeezed and breathed and prayed into the curve of your neck. Then I let go, just turned around and started walking.
I heard you let out a sharp breath. That sound is the way I felt, like something had been cut and left hanging right there in the middle of the side walk. Exposed. Raw.
I kept walking.
I kept breathing.
I almost kept going but something spun me around. I saw you still standing there, hands clutching your forehead. I wanted to cry and sing and die all in that moment. I wanted to run back to you.
You blew me a kiss as you walked backward. I touched it to my chest. And then you turned around. And I turned the corner.
I left everything at that corner.
And it was at that age … Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.
I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesimal being,"
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.