Sounds that Soothe

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Self-Soothe

Sometimes I recognize it as a dream motionless as two rocks
side by side. I remember little.
There were the people whose lips you wanted on yours,
The park bench halfway between our place and the gym,
Where we smoked cigars and watched students pass.
We’d guess their majors, who they chose to write papers about,
Which ones slept with professors and which ones had no one.
Above us, the couple with the small car,
She dropped acid one night and walked barefoot through the park.
His brother was dating a girl dying of cancer. He’d leave after visiting
And the screen door would fling itself open in the wind. Always unlatched.
It sent shivers down our spines as we thought about how much he was losing,
Wondering if he would ever love again, so desperate,
With nothing but the wind moving through his hands.
I remember love was made, quietly.
Tiptoe sex, when you believe no sounds are being made,
But you could always hear someone getting up, the small squeaks
Leaked by cheap mattresses none of us would be able to sleep on now.
On the fridge, we had a photograph we took one night
Drinking piss beer on our back porch that somehow we all liked.
Mornings with eggs cracked over steel bowels,
Protein needed for our morning workouts. The guy
At the gym who looked like a model and made us feel like we looked like children.
We took hangovers to work with us like our backpacks,
Sitting in the backyard, staring up at the sky, listening to music.
It was as if nobody ever told us Ponce D’Leon did not find the fountain of youth,
Florida was still wild and native, before it would become known
For school shootings, election fraud, and sunburned Midwestern families
Riding teacups, having the worst vacation of their lives.
There were hesitations before first kisses and nudity,
Someone was always running away or toward something.
Heart’s erupted and new worlds were created.
We burrowed ourselves into chests and let ours be burrowed into.
We learned we could not hide all of ourselves in someone else.
In summer, we’d leave the windows open all summer
And at night the chosen music (folk, jazz, rock),
Would slink their notes through the screens into the night.
Everything seemed to have a purpose then,
But what I loved about that time was that nothing actually did have a purpose.
It was as if that time were just meant to be the sound of ice in a glass,
Poetic and simple, a wonderful sound,
Who never had any intent or desire to change the world.

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