The Moment Before

Have you ever noticed the night sky at that breath before dawn? What was black and endless has been shot through with the first hint of day break. It’s not black at all, a moody rolling purple, a navy blue, a slow olive green. The green overtakes and lightens the mood. The world is holding its breath before dawn. The spices and flour float from the bakery below. A world of stillness, rolling color, and sugar. For a moment we are suspended in time. The romantic dreams of the night hover as a fog around us, just solid and fuzzy enough to slip back into. The daylight has not yet broken us. The magic of the night still wraps its woolen arms around us. The world collectively holds its breath for one last moment.

Then a train whistle breaks the quiet. The green has lightened to gold, the dark lingering purples are beaten back and the world begins to stir. A chapter is ending as we brush the sleep and dreams from our eyes and begin our march into reality once more. A world is fading with the last stubborn star in the dawn sky.

But another story is just beginning.

Cancerous Nostalia

Breathing in the warm and bitter smoke

of toxic memories and drunken nights,

the taste of paper and tobacco seared into my brain

joint too closely with you.

The ember and glow light up

the hidden concave lines of your sculpted face,

the sharp jaw that pierced my heart

and breaks through the walls I try to bury it in.

The haze in my memory floats away like the smoke

we blew downwind off of rooftops.

Just the scratch of the match brings me back,

the past illuminated by flame.

A time of youth and beauty,

both glorious and dangerous.

A time best forgotten. Locked away,

hidden like the pack I resist in my drawer.

Like you.

Hidden away and reminded not to touch.

Until the nights are too long, the stars too lonely.

So I climb out to the roof

for one more long drag.