You were right, love takes time…

up a mountain, in the outskirts of Los Angeles

he drives like a maniac in his own vehicle

but when he drives my car,

it is slow and steady–a turtle

we stop for fuel in the form of beer, trail mix and water–

we’re unsure–

swept by fears and love and fears

old demons, ghosts, insecurities

whatever name we give our doubts

if they can even be called doubts

 

small talk and uncomfortable yet comfortable silences–

the occasional joke, intertwined with the beauty that only nature can provide

sprawled, gorgeous, immense, silent–

dangerous

 

the climb begins to take its toll on my empty stomach

my ankles

my lungs–gasping

 

I am weak

he is strong, able, beautiful

everything I am not

 

I worry that this climb will show him my frailties

that I’ll crumble at his feet, that he’ll leave me there

to be swallowed by the grit

food for hungry vultures

but he waits…

smiling at the waning hills

bright yellow, red and purple flowers leap around him, dancing with his shadow

 

he is a million mirrors

reflecting back my pains and joys

 

my pains manifest

but my will to reach our destination is greater–

 

there is no shade, but a cool breeze caresses me–us

I miss his arms, his hands on me

I attempt affection, he accepts–begrudgingly

his dry mouth lands on mine and disappears just as fast

thirst comes and we drink heavy with conviction–

 

we’re almost there.” he says

I’m ok.” I whisper, inaudibly

 

this isn’t going to be easy

this union is a test

a test of death and life

a test of patience and forgiveness, of trust

of things yet to be tapped into

 

the sound of water distracts our rumbling guts

we are hungry, but first, we must reach comfort, greenery, quiet solitude and a place to sit

wet soil and strange noises fill the space between him & I

we jump over heavy rocks

slip between cracks and the silence is beautiful

like stars, and sky, and snow

or what I imagine snow to sound like

since snow is as foreign to me

as he is in this moment

but all things that stick around eventually seep in our foundation

we slip our feet into a stream of freezing cold water

we force ourselves to endure it, because we know that the payoff to most things, comes with time

we know that nothing can be forced upon us unless we give it permission

 

ants want his attention

more than I could ever show–

they crawl on him

the way he often climbs on me

pain turned into pure passion

he lets them have their fill

they indulge

we ask questions of each other that perhaps we always knew the answer to

they seem safe grounds to walk on

safer than the wet rocks beneath our feet

we laugh

take pictures

sit closer

drink heavy

drink loudly

the sun creeps back

retrieving

hours have passed since we began this climb

we feel a bite in the air

the slow and steady descent

high voltage in the heart

we take time now to look at one another

pick flowers

hug–

we stare dumbfounded

at the vastness mixed w/metropolis

his smile is sweeter/my laugh echoes

we repurpose our limbs

wrap our hands around each other

bellies full of food and drink, of love, of fear

 

I grip him knowing this doubt is melting

the sun is setting

we drive to our den

our sanctuary

the 110 freeway carries us at 80 miles per hour

a torrent of metal and lights

 

home is where we are.” you say

I say, “where we are, is home.”

 

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