A Polaroid We Forgot At The Beach

Once upon a time, a perfect pair of lovers
forgot a polaroid at the beach
they left it half-buried in the sand
a portrait of a boy and a girl
sitting in a playground on the swings
frozen in the perfection polaroids bring
to lovers in perfect days
forgetting everything
That used to be us, Emma
That used to be you

I honestly never really liked it a lot, but
I know you always loved that snapshot
You said it was
something about the way
the sunlight blurred
the space between our bodies
and how we looked perfect
with our hands
delicately embracing
in the pocket of your denim jeans

It was a perfect day
Your hair was like the sweetest fire
your lips were glorious, giving life to beautiful words and desire
off the tip of your tongue
and the sweat on my lips was slightly sweetened
as I took in a sip of your song

And later on that night
we took polaroids of the sky
and scattered them across the floor
overlapping, concentric
lopsided, shortsighted
misty, telescopic
faded ink-blot shots
of the same moon
over, and over, and over, and over
again
forming
a vague outline of a heart
proving
even colorless inhospitable wastelands
can learn to love
as long as you give them a chance to
just as you gave me
that one perfect day
that should have lasted forever
but didn’t
because we didn’t
because your parents decided to move away
alas

And yet after all these years
there is still a single lock of your gorgeous hair
that I fall asleep with under my pillow
from that day we hid inside my empty bedroom closet
and you asked me to cut your hair
before you moved away
and I cry
I cry
like I did
as your hair fell upon the floor
like rain falls upon lakes
and are swallowed up
water upon water
upon world upon soul
I cry
because that night our love died
I hid
and in my empty bedroom closet
I was too late to say goodbye
for you had let yourself go much sooner
than I ever did

Our whispers were the ones
the wind carried to the moon to take care of forever
Our love
was a polaroid we forgot at the beach
something so painfully lovely, and yet
so terribly far out of reach
and it was my fault
I’m sorry, Emma
I forgot it
Please forgive me, Emma
I forgot
Even if I was too young
and too selfishly in love
to understand you
Emma, I’m sorry
I love you
I wish I could give you
one more perfect day

 

*I once wrote this to perform at a slam poetry event. It’s not quite the same read off a piece of paper (or a computer screen), but poetry transcends the medium, I suppose.