Lesson Learned

Their drenched coats dripped
the sogginess from outside
to satisfy the thirst
of the grout
and broken tiles,
as if to give life
to this living room again.
Two beds, four walls,
half bath and
it wasn’t much,
but it was home.

They smiled at each other,
fed thoughts to one another
by flashlight
in the indoor tent
Grandpa sent last spring.
Dormant be
his mild scent
they try to rid
with laughter,
with their vibrant youth
as if to avoid aging faster.
Perhaps, they were on to something.

It was the first time
he brought a girl home,
and all they did
was share headphones and
telegraph secrets
through the wires,
as if it were an umbilical cord
nourishing their dreams through.

She impregnated him
with futures his reality
could never stomach,
let alone bear to birth;
but naively, he believed her.
He fell in love
with impossibilities;
chased tomorrow’s shadow
through her fallacious forest
‘til noon, then waited
for her signal to re-engage
in this pursuit
of phantoms she’d conjure.
I wanted to tell him
“Slow down,
slow down little brother.
Life is meant to be lived
but breathe in the now,
savor those slippery seconds
between your synapses,
that seem to leave us
all too empty.”

Nine months later,
I find him sitting alone in the tent.
His headphones are bleeding
an all too familiar rhythm.
He offers me to listen,
and I do.
It was his heartbeat,
weak,
off-key;
in the stillness
a soft,
low whistle.
He tried to make out the tune,
but could never decipher
what his heart
would murmur
between the silence,
broken between
the love it wished to give
and the love it will never have…

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2 thoughts on “Lesson Learned

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