remember all those ghosts we waited for
when we were still foolish and believed;
too preoccupied to see them when,
at twilight, we had learned to laugh;
when everything was illuminated, even
the darkening sky we wrestled under?
the flesh i was, that you were also—
now long gone—was so hungry,
begged for closeness with eyes too shy, and
bodies too painfully alive to think of more.
now i am winter. now i am spring.
and i am small again, and folded
vulnerable beneath; a paper airplane that
flew farther than our feet could chase.
forget these hands that now are fearful,
that shake and fumble like my mother’s;
they need your face—to sweep your brow
—or think they do, and so awaken
so many long-ago ghosts; or the clumsy
thrill of flesh taut with once familiar gracelessness.
now i am summer. now i am fall.
she rises, and you, sweet, awkwardly asleep,
while hungry wraiths parade, and murmur
past our small window upon the dewy grass.
forget these mere bodies that may find
blessing in simpler, darker, passions
while we strain to listen; or beg them to tell us
what we can no longer hear without trembling.
remember that boy i was—just barely?
that willful striving, the lighter laughter
that had no hiding place among
those endless fields where spirits groaned?
now i am evening. now i am morning.
i am in between, an unraveling of memories
that tangle, bind my arms across
unfamiliar breasts that ache, softly.
forget these love letters, folded
now like paper, gliding on the autumn’s breeze
to chase this child’s eager landing while leaping
from the swing—its back and forth.
remember what it was like while no one watched?
or when grown up things didn’t speak so loudly,
and awkward kisses were as thrilling
as groping hands in a back room, illicit and beautiful?
now i am day. now i am night.
in the dark trying to recall my name, and yours
that once hissed softly from my mouth
when no one was listening but fireflies, blinkering.
forget the whispering of bed linens that
hid us from morning, damp and guileless,
or those voices that we thought we'd left behind
that carried me on their fair breath, leading.
remember our twilight, our longing flight
past unanticipated lovers who cried sweetly,
mumbling their pleas across our tender lips
in fields and in alleys, and our times in the dark
hoping that no one ever wakened to interrupt
the only forever we would ever know.
© 2017, Karekin M Yarian