We shot up in your bathroom, the fluorescent light snaking around our shoulders and spilling onto the white tile floor. I caught your face in the mirror as we stepped out and your hair was a tangled mess but the eyes were on fire. We lay on the couch sucking on cigarettes in the half twilight. Outside the college girls floated by, covergirl masks grotesque in the dying light. I heard dogs barking and car horns and a rondo of angels on amphetamines. You were talking about the Gulf and the water, always the ocean with you. I feel the sand on your stomach and the salt on your skin and picture the clouds skating across the cutting azure.

I’m transported to the tall grass on Lake Michigan, ten years old, scrambling in the icy surf grabbing shells eyes closed in the red lidless glare of a summer sun. Alone for a moment while my parents took the dog to the other side, I hoard my bits of crab, the green bottle glass worn down to jade by the cold and the waves. The gulls cry, and I imagine myself on an island far out in the lake, where rusted ships rest their bony remains. A forgotten island of gulls sand crusted in white shit, a cacophony of feathers and silence. I’m the emperor of the birds.

Back to your place and it’s nighttime now. We smoke before we leave and you’re impressed by my rings, laughing as you cough and I laugh too. We bundle up and head out into the dark, counting block by block to make sure we haven’t gone too far, trying not to sway and laughing at everything. For a moment the world is perfect, the halos around the streetlamps a blinding second of eternity, the shattered glass a curbside symphony.

When we get back, I ask if I can crash here and it’s ok. We take off our coats and settle in, your hair scattered across my chest.

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~ by Benji on 25 March 2009.

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