Stars are searchlights

Stars are searchlights overhead; avoiding their gaze we slip into the field for release. Release from what? You have a job, I have a job… we don’t have children. Yet there is something on our shoulders, and because we are not scientists I am reluctant to name it gravity; besides, gravity is what pulls me to you, and keeps our life in orbit. What else then? A few trees give us shelter –- a canopy of leaves to blot out the sky and keep endlessness out of it for once. I am glad our affairs end. That is why they matter -- that is why we keep coming back: to escape the demands of daylight, the monotonous greed of nightlife in the big city. Even when we sleep I can hear it humming, pumping out the restless dreams of fuse boxes and subterranean machines and traffic signals click clicking at the deserted intersection while I try to hear you breathe.

Remember when we were young? You let me kiss you at the corner of Southdown and Pine, the streets so empty at four in the morning we were sure everyone was asleep. When the light swung from green to red you gasped – "I didn’t know they made a sound!" – and then laughed because discovery does that, it relieves a tension you didn’t know was there. On the way back home you sang Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright until we ran down the street and I watched you disappear through your parents’ front door.

Where are they now? Between the stars, beyond the visible sky… but tonight they can’t see us either, not beneath the leaves of this sanctuary we built to last as long as tide does, coming in or going out; as long as the word itself, sanctuary; as long as we can bear it. Is there anything else to say? I love you more than I love my life, which is why we cannot stay. Together we step from the trees, we let stars make maps of our separate light-filled bodies, we let ourselves get lost in the big blinking city so that soon we might find each other again.


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