By Danae Younge
After a Sandstorm
Your peck extracts remaining wind from a cooled forehead. The ruins pile up before us, meld like a glaring flame pinched on the horizontal landscape, a solute to the wallpaper. Yet the overlapping eye of our circular universes squints further with mine as I look at you, as we trek side by side through the dunes.
At first, scarce speckles. One to the scalp. Four days. Another like dewdrops Caught in the morning’s lashed fringe Two days. The vein on my left wrist cries A soft tear, single bead of ruby Drips a shiver like arachnid legs Before the right joins in And droplet pools meld Into a gloss sheet. And my psychiatrist says I might want to consider Wellbutrin instead. A night, then Cumulonimbus clouds whirl Ruthlessly into my present And I plead like a stray. Soaked hair and blue dress skin-stuck Like a bodysuit of plastic wrap, Girl steeping in a cobalt moon-tide. What an awful way to die Over, and over again- Suffocation,resurrection,repeat.
The night is prettiest when it’s naked. When the sky drops down its yellow robe, exposing its bare back, and sunlit creases fold and drape like silk. Earth’s crevices whisper seductively as we sit, bodies touching, on his rooftop. His hand lays shyly on the zipper of my dress and our worn shoes tap together in a rhythm-less honesty. It is just us. The neighborhood streets are vacant. We’d watched as each article was stripped from the frame. The process was slow and wanting. The people were the first to leave, then their echoing shadow sounds, which stole away with pieces of our attention in the moments leading up to sunset. His parents took off to the beach and children came inside for supper then snuggled up in pocket homes - kept safe for now, pulled out tomorrow. Let them eat and sleep in silence. Night is prettiest when it’s naked. Our own meal was the next to go: Devoured spoonfuls revealing little patches of our lilac plates one by one like skin exposed by fingered buttons of a cardigan, so that we were turned full and round and the grumbling of stomachs was left on the kitchen floor. Our anxieties were the last. The pressing feeling of necessity, urgent responsibility pushing in on a twisted chest, he unclasped and let it fall away from evening. We are freeform now, and a tight exterior of worry has been shed. The air and our limbs are softened to jelly awkwardly, our bodies seem to stutter, stumble over peacefulness as we sit. Watching our world undress - still clothed while the night lays down like a muse for a painting - we bask in the simplistic scene. Soon, we will go inside. The night is prettiest when it’s naked. And so, I think, are we.