five years ago--
we were all elbows and sheltered self-esteems. we werent noticing each other except for bumping knees and walking into each other when walking around corners. we were nameless faces in the middle of the dance floor and hesitant hands touching. i was teaching you how to move gawky feet and a stiff spine, you were hitched-laughter fogging over my ear. we were wide eyes and gangly legs and fast music. we were bubble-gum-breath and coca-cola-fingers, breaking apart like nervous colts at the end of the song.
and all the parents said: look, how sweet, shes his first dance.
two years ago--
we were all chewed-on-lips and wrung-together fingers. we were orbiting alone until we crashed blindly together. we were reintroducing with shaking hands and getting swung onto the dance floor with free-falling-breath. you were taller, faster, taking my old moves and spicing them with your own. you were flipping me over your arm and i was hovering my mouth over your collarbone. we were letting our lips get acquainted in the middle of fields, hands cupping faces and backs pressed to white trucks.
and all the parents said: look, how sweet, hes swept her off her feet.
one and a half years ago--
we were meeting on cyber plateaus in the middle of the continent between us. we were shyly circling the history and laughing over shared tastes in humor. we were asking questions never asked with steamed breath during pressed-close dances. you were asking about my words, my job, my dreams. i was asking about your numbers, your uniform, your girl. we were gentle laughter and quiet excitement for the next summer.
and all the parents said: look, how sweet, theyre building a friendship.
one year ago--
we were quivering-hands and tripping-words-hello. we were sitting on truck beds outside small town bowling alleys and laughing down the river with the boat humming beneath your fingers. you were sitting in your parked white truck and i was leaning on the window. we were bright eyes and collared words. we were dancing under drunk stars in the shadow of her. we were trembling palms on arched backs and cheeks resting on broad shoulders. we were driving down dusty highways blinded with tears and the sun in the rearview mirror.
and all the parents said: look, how sweet, shes going to miss him.
i am living in silence, i am drinking whiskey-laced-memories every night and racing down gravel roads until my lungs are collapsing and my veins are tangling together. i am painting your face in violent reds on my walls and bleaching my heart every morning to get rid of your stain. i am writhing when i think of her, i am dissecting your every word and every silence until i am in the middle of a bunch of syllables that dont mean anything at all.
and the parents said nothing at all. nothing at all.