Red Paper Stars


You are so many things all at once
Leaning against a crumbling wall, eyes closed against something I don’t know about
Hair tied back in a different way every time I look at you
You’re kneeling down to tie your shoe and all of you is focused on that one tiny point of contact.
Red
You pay everything equal attention,
A oblong pebble leaving a mark on the floor,
The way you position your feet in class,
The sky
It all seems to matter so much when you look at it.
Steampunk, muted burgundy, hand-cut jeans,
Combat boots or paint-stained converse,
Tiny cut-out paper stars strung along the top of a window in November,
You’re maybe a little less than the smoke from an extinguished birthday candle,
Maybe a little more that the faraway glow of a forest fire,
The kind that looks like dragon-fire and spreads so slowly in your vision.
Pale skin and freckles,
A sort of foggy morning nonchalance in the lowering of your lashes
Red
Lit from one side by harsh theatre lights,
Light spills over from the edge and everything is quiet
It’s faded green and oversized sweaters borrowed from someone else,
Sitting the wrong way in the chair, on the counter, the floor, anywhere but where you should
One hand thrust towards the sky, blindfolded, searching for something that you left there
Maybe
Red
Falling into a bed of yellow flowers and laughing, hands tangled in the grass,
Spontaneous drives to the beach out of nowhere, packed close in the backseat
Ocean spread like a wrinkled carpet somewhere nearby
Everything has great importance-
Jagged sea glass, forgotten tire buoy, a black pebble
You are part of the landscape and you make it perfect
Red
Careful steps into somewhere new
Turning of a kiln-fired mug in your hands,
Rasp of ceramic against your palms,
The perfect medium in which to listen
You run a finger down the curve of a graphite feather
Walking towards a window if blue light,
Daisy chain taking shape in your hands,
The future can put sadness in your voice like nothing else
Delicate sorting of tiny silver charms, cautious delight over one in a hundred,
Reflection of it all in your eyes even as they turn away
Red
Borrowed phrases, touches, laughs,
So much of it is you, but I sometimes see you in the words others and wonder
How much of it was yours
Or theirs
Or if you picked up that look in a subway, collected it like a leaf and added it to your collection,
Scraped it off like the label of an empty perfume bottle,
Are these mannerisms even yours to give?
Pieces of you everywhere
You’re a patchwork of beauty, stitched with something resembling melancholy
The last nasturtium in the planter, the moment in between the fall and the impact,
The call of a red-winged blackbird.
You always seem to be in some variation of a crescendo
Bon Jovi animates you in the courtyard,
Arms spread wide to accept this moment that you recognize as unique
Love it even as it is over
Red
Thyme, dill, an unnamed spice that smells like summer,
Careful offering into a void,
Light mist of water in a place I cannot see, rush of sound
In a place I cannot see,
Touch of your fingertips as you press a maple leaf into my hand
In a place I cannot see.
Red.

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This Poems Story

a girl i loved a long time ago.