i love how we move through the dark,
from end to end of the bed, fan blowing on our faces
as we form the endless shapes of love;
i love how you move in the dawn,
sleepy sleek as the sun pours the coming night’s secrets
& sins across your outstretched arms and
open psalms palms;
i love how i move through the day
secure in your scent, an invisible chain keeping the facts
of my feelings fastened to yours;
i love when we meet in the twilight
like it’s the first time, intentions renewed, minds & bodies
ready to give in to something new
like we never began;
and therefore can never end.
It’s not yours, this time or the next, even though you race home from work to be on time while they’re always late and make you wait (and wait) and wonder, is the saltiness of your lips from this morning’s tears or last night’s tequila shots you did together in the dark because you were too self-conscious to let them see the liquor and limes suck the vitality out of you momentarily, make the lines on your face stand out a little more, the lines on their face a lot less, make you wonder, what do they really see? Whose line is it anyway when you say you’re common as a bag of chips, a sneaked-in burger at the movie theater, kittens chasing wind on a splintered windowsill;
it’s not yours, this love that came to light in a darkened place, that darkens the light you need between fuckups—call them missteps so not to sound crass—these missed steps you cannot recover but that you need to cover the ground it takes not to fuck up next time. This love is not for you and you know it, everybody knows it but no one can stop it from becoming its own thing, a wild & lovely, terrific & terrifying thing, everyone watching and holding their breath as you watch your own in the reflections of shot glasses, salt shakers and lime rinds, in your own bright and shining tears splintering the way you see the world, the way you will give and receive future love.
In your presence, your love is an explosion
of brilliant light between my twilight and dawn,
a slow-spreading supernova across my night sky.
In your absence, I consult the constellations,
the weighing scales of your lovely, alluring face
and ruling mind, to guide my keen & wanting hand.
When you are not with me, my heart grows
hot with insatiety, heavy with indecencies
only you can hear, shockwaves of sound splitting
my mind until I am deafened by Longing.
When I am with you, sometimes my hot heart explodes
too soon; it wants to shower you in star particles & promises
of every brilliant moment spreading between twilight
and twilight, forever.
April Ford’s books include an award-winning novel, Carousel, and story collection, The Poor Children, and a chapbook of poems, Death Is a Side-Effect. She’s a Pushcart Prize recipient for her short story “Project Fumarase,” and has enjoyed fully funded residencies at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Ucross Foundation. Her essay “I Will Tell You This Much, and Then We’ll Never Talk About It” was a Finalist for The Lascaux Review’s 2021 Prize in Creative Nonfiction. http://www.aprilfordauthor.com