UnadornedWe were on the beach, kissing in the sand.
I put my hand in her jeans and she said, no, it's not right.
Hey, I said. It feels right to me.
Jeezus fuck, she said, for a writer, you don't half speak in cliches.
And she was right. I'm unadorned. I do not think quickly enough for any other kind of speaking.
The other day, we were walking in the streets near my home. No reason, not going anywhere in particular.
She said, I think about you when we're not together.
Do you, I said. Do you have a picture or do you just think?
What's that? she said. I suppose I have a picture.
I am hoping it's a good picture, I said. Because I'd hate to be remembered with a bad picture that doesn't do me justice.
She smiled. What if it was a bad picture that did do you justice?
And she was right. I'm unadorned. I've turned heads but sometimes more what the fuck than what a man.
We were dancing in the late, cool night.
I love this song, she said.
I remembered, I said. That is why I put it on.
Shut up, she said. You do not have to know everything all the time. You can just let it go.
The song was moving her and it was moving me. I could feel we feel we are two becoming one. I did not want to break the spell but the music ended. I could not find anything else that moved her the same way, although I had many songs I thought might.
You know, she said. Long nights when it is raining outside and I cannot sleep, I sing that song to myself and think about you.
But I did not think she did. I was thinking that she was saying it because it would move me just as much as the song had.
And she was right. I am unadorned. I am easy to break down into pieces and put back together.
We were parting but no one was saying goodbye. Goodbye means see you again and when you don't know whether, there is no thing to say.
The sun in her hair made it shine copper. She had dyed it that way.
We are all artifice. Some pretend less, some more, but none of us can avoid change. We are all sometimes remade.
We were blowing kisses, laughing, pretending we could understand each other when we mouthed nothings, sweet as dew, burned away by a sun of truth.
I turned away so that she could not see the tear in my eye.
Or so that I could not see did she have one in hers.
It is an hour before dawn. I can hear the sound of the surf, I swear I can. But I am in the city, twenty kilometres from the sea.
But I carry it with me, wrapped up tight, a little globe full of glittering snow, a bird hopping on the stretch of golden sand, the waves rolling in, never ending, never pausing, the spray in my hair. I carry it with me, your kiss, your touch, the warmth of your smile. Twenty kilometres from the sea and we are dreaming of being together, lying in the sand, my hand in your jeans, it feels right to me. It is a long way to walk, an hour before dawn, a long way to walk until I am there, the spray in my hair, my hand in your hand, it feels right to me.