Back Then

Copyright © 1998 Miron Schmidt.
Revision 5.
Written in the beginning of 1998 and on 1998/NOV/16.

The wind blew through our hair, baked from the day-hot rocks. You laughed through tear-swollen eyes, allergic to almost everything the summer would offer.

We ran across the field; a nightbird sang a croaked and happy note. Chasing locusts throbbing with green fire.

Soaked with sweat and coughing iron, we fell down, still laughing (till death do us part), still on the hilltop.

Lying down, the grass stung through our shirts and tattooed red patterns in our backs. Softly. Aching for more. We smiled at each other, happy tears on our faces. You loved me.

I hate myself.

The cool night-wind blew through our clothes, heaped around us like a corpse of hay. Covering our sticky flesh. And we smelled flowers and stale water. Mosquitoes stung us alive. Buzzed off and somewhere far away laid their eggs into pools of our blood--none of our concern.

We rolled over the ground in the night, and we loved silently, and we knew our present would never end. Time was kind back then. Back then, you were always in the night. With me in the night.

And the night was sweet as sap-wood, and sticky as rosin, and wet. A sting of chestnut in the back of my eye. My swollen tongue chewed bloody to ease the pain. We sang of power, we stalked the nocturnals. A lizard fled our strength.

And, looking at each other, inevitably, our dance slowed down, slowed but never reached a stand-still: if only it had, back then! What agony it would have spared me; how many red-hot straps around my chest, all the doubt, the half moons in my palm.

I want to, but I can never.

That smile of yours, obscured under the shadow of your nose. The glitter somewhere in the center of your face. Your head tilted: asking, luring. Our hands entwined.

So we climbed higher, slower now, a creak from our knees or shoulders. All the wiser, understanding. More sweat for the little movements; clutching your hand as you were always first in line. Knowing each spot on your belly, the curve of your breast: beautiful to me like on the first day. Still we were immortal, though my eyes lay deeper and when your fingers slid through my hair (violently hugging me), they touched more skin.

Laughing, on what we perceived as the top, back then, we looked down. Back down the beaten path; and we wept, only for a minute.

--And we waded up the hilltop, ever higher: breathing heavily in crystal clouds and loving ever more intense. Thus, I fell back: with you being the stronger half. Now you looked down, grinning and planning some mischief. And ran upwards, stop, I shouted. Sobbing.

Then you reached the top, high up, the real top. And we froze. And there I stood, looking up at you looking down (with those dimples chiselled into your heated cheeks), forever.

And turned back.

Because I cannot. It hurts too much; I cannot cry.

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