Honey-Sweet and Slow

Abigail Mandlin

I.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Slow crawl of raindrops across a windshield. Neon burning bright in the background. The car engine stalls. Heat exudes quietly; the radio hums dully. People pass, blurs across the skin. Her voice is clear, crisp. She says there’s a reason she sat next to you on the first day of class.

                             Time stops. You shake, you quake, you breathe.
                             And then you tell her that you told your mom about her too.

                             Sometimes it’s a kiss to the corner of the mouth each morning; an etch upon the skin; the flash of a ring under the pull of a sweater sleeve; the chill of the air under a diamond sky; words written in the margin of a notebook.

                            Sometimes it’s breath. In and out and in and out. A million little “I love you”s a day: the gasps, the hums, the “I’m home”s.
Sometimes it’s just the demonstration of life, continued defiantly in a world that would rather you remain unseen.

                           (Sometimes it’s silence, quiet and soft and forgiving.)

                           For who else can put words to the tug and pull of sinew in the fingers when someone goes to lift a cup of coffee to their sleep-warm lips? Who else can wax poetic on the sheen of someone’s hair, tumbling over the sheets like the rippling of tides? Who else can notice the delicate arch of a foot, the bend of a waist, the jut of a wrist, the freckles that smatter the cheek, the bridge of a nose, the give of a thigh, the grace of a collarbone, the depth of an eye?

                          None but I.
                          No one else can be trusted with a task so great.

%d bloggers like this: