Sunday, November 12, 2017

Boots

My heart once fluttered 
to hear your boots rasp against the concrete.
There was something so solid and satisfying 
about that sound.
I remember one time driving 
behind your motorcycle,
watching the way your boots tapped the ground
 at the red light,
such a gentle touch 
for someone who has lived so hard.
I felt my pulse leap to see you 
from that angle,
grounded yet simultaneously lifting 
smoky off the street
stretching tall 
into the purple hush of the sky.

I’ve been carrying you around with me 
for a while now.
Hearing your boots tap next to mine 
when I walk.
A hint of your elfish smile 
pressed into my mind
and your Aztec face in flame 
when I close my eyes.

I could still feel your hand on the curve of my back
as I suck in a quick gasp of air.
Hear your raspy voice in my ear
when I drift off to sleep.
Imagine your lanky body
towering above me when we kiss,
pulling me like taffy up on my tiptoes.
I could hear your words on soft repeat,
calling me your Beloved,
creating tender space for me
as you lovingly open the door.

But that’s been gone for a while now. 
And I’ve been surviving on the fumes of their memory. 
Like a tank I take with me under water,
reaching dangerously low levels 
with red flashing lights. 
I’ve been ready to refill, but when I look up
you just shake your head. 

So its time to leave this empty husk. 
Like the shells we gathered on the beach,
when I loved you and you didn’t love me back. 
I’m ready to brave those unprotected waters. 
Walk out past the sandbar. 
Leap into the unknown
without the echo of your boots to comfort me. 

Because I’ve still got mine. 
The leather is soft
and worn in all the right places.
Saturated with memories of horseback riding and East Texas skies
that soak into my skin when I wear them.
The reassuring rhythm of my feet
anchors me to the earth.
Calmly reminding me I won’t fly off the edge.
Because gravity’s still got me,
even if you don’t.  

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