The Return

“How else to spend ourselves but on love?” ~ Cecilia Woloch

You must have felt if not seen the warning flares around the shoulders of the man who said he wants to kiss you, slide his hands down the buttons of your blouse so don’t pretend you don’t know what he wants. You didn’t know the right words for refusal, you were confused about the signals your body must have sent out in the warm dusk, in a field, away from the people strumming guitars and singing, eating skewers of meat hot off the grill. It seems a lifetime ago but when you tilt your head sometimes at the sky or look through the trees, a veil falls over your eyes the same way it did then and your throat is dry, your hands are useless. No use crying now, though you still think about it. You are so sorry for that self, that girl in the low rude grass, her hair spilling on unnameable flowers and moss. How you left her there and let the world grow still while her untried body was measured, how its strings were tightened then plucked. It’s like that sometimes when a great gulf of space surrounds you: how it’s as if a figure recedes somewhere just out of reach, walking away, bending its head, though you know it will wait years if it needs to for you to catch up.

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