he loved the here and now of her
the way she still believed
he knew no history
saw no scars

perhaps she’d led many lives.
perhaps she’d risen in bruised
silence from beds where his heart
could never go.

What can I say about love?
Every story of heartbreak begins with a story of love.
To begin in the beginning won’t do.
Some stories have no beginning.
No X marks the spot.

The intermezzo; that is where I will begin.
The place where she was gently coaxed in.
Poised, eyes closed, hands folded in prayer, swaying on numb legs.
Thirty years on a ledge will do that to you.

He spoke her name.
Actually, it was more an exhale that sounded like her name.
That was all.
She slipped back through the window
borne on his breath.

She believed in saviors and history. The story of their breathing
told in pictures, scratched in high places on dry walls.
He believed in the space time continuum and the exact edge
where his darkness met her light.

They moved into a small house with close grained oak floors.
Tongue and groove made to endure.
Together they worked, sanding, then staining, sweating in the arid desert heat until they’d rid themselves of every mark and trace of those who’d gone before. Claiming those floors for their own.
After three days, they danced barefoot on the smooth clean wood.

All this she remembers, or imagines to be true.

Maybe it was kids, dogs, furniture rearranged, two different points of view,
things taken for granted, exchanges not taken lightly
each mark, scar and stain taking its toll.

He sits and smokes in the dark.
He thinks he’s suffocating.

She stares out the window
and measures happiness against three perfect days.