You think I'm playing with you?
Darkness casts shadows in your eyes as you lose control. Your hands tremble, the blood rushes out of your face, your jaw forms a stern line. You don't touch me, because your hands are rough.
I don't know what to say. Why are you getting so upset?
Your breath is raspy, in short undulating waves. You hide your face because it has to be earned. You hide your thoughts because they can't be discerned. You shift topics and glances and faces with a clawed restlessness.
The distant makes us work. Distance.
Babe, don't say that.
The heart may burn in emptiness, but your waves erase my doubts. The tide erasing the footprints in sand of the shore of my heart. The city lights must have hidden the stars?
Talk to me about your doubts and I will talk to you of places with no lights.
You shift closer, interested again, giving me one last chance to make you remember why we're in it together.
Don't let my doubts obliterate you, while I still have you.
You keep your head on my lap and ask for another bedtime story. You hold my hands, kiss my knuckles. Demanding a closeness beyond what is physically possible. Everyday is a new battle to keep you from falling away, to keep you in love, to keep you together, to keep you mine.
What are you scared of?
Being faithless. Being absent. Being away. Leaving you unsatisfied, with questions and riddles. Not being enough for you.
I reach for your hair, stroke it, like a mother's love to her child, like a widow's promise to her husband's memory, like faith in a cause men die for in foreign lands.
Tell me you're happy and take me away with you.
The colour is slowly coming back to your face beneath my fingertips.
Let me tell you of a secret place.
It's a small park called Kelsey Park. It was raining when I went there. The nice kind of rain, the kind you want to walk in barefoot, without an umbrella. Old black metallic gates open into a narrow road, along the sides of which grow pine trees. And random plants. When you walk through it, you hear tiny life.
Just a small walk where you hear birds and insects. About five minutes into the walk, you reach a junction where there's a circular path.
And then you laugh for no reason?
I smile, because laughing may break the spell. In the middle is a patch of manicured pansies and daffodils.
I cover your lips with my hands to stop you from talking. There are stars in your eyes.
Sometimes patches of sunlights fall on the yellow daffodils as they sway in the wind. You kneel by them, though you can smell them from a minute away.You get up and you walk around it, and you see a lake. It has more species of ducks than you can name. And swans.
You draw in your breath and you draw in mine.
Ducks who have marked their territory and will fight each other away. You have a bag of bread in your hands. Brown bread, because white isn't good for them.
A faint smile plays on the corner of your lips. I touch it with my fingers and for a moment, it is lost.
You break the bread in pieces and the ducks come to you. Their beaks shine with water from the lake and the rain.
You fed the ducks?
And yes, you feed the ducks. If the bread gets too soggy, it starts to sink and then they extend their necks into the water after it. I wanted to sit by the lake with you.
You kiss the inside of my palms, my wrists.
The swans are a little arrogant, so they take their time coming. Their white feathers are set back in a sullen elegance. You walk along the lake, and you feed the ducks. There's a small bridge with a little black gate which makes your heart stop. It rains slightly heavily and you stand there. Directly below you is a little water fall. Tree branches droop into the lake and birds sit on them. The trees are bare completely. If you look carefully, they form veins on the sky. They're intertwined like the fingers of lovers.
And you walk along, the people in the back blur out.
Children who're walking their dolls, children who're walking plastic dogs.
Old women with walking sticks.
With little black umbrellas and red coats.
I hate people.
You're mad and obsessive and I think I just might be in love with you.
You walk past the bridge.
There are rows of cherry blossoms that are the first sign of early spring.
Their pink blossoms have something ethereal about them.
They form a canopy over your head.
So that the rain caresses each blossom before it touches your face.
You stop and you close your eyes and you take it all in.
You walk past and the canopy lasts for ten minutes.
No, it shouldn't end.
You resign with a scowl.
You come out into a clearing.
And the bare trees are back.
In open fields.
Trees on which squirrels sit.
You take out a bag of peanuts and call out to them.
They come to you, two or three at a time.
Sometimes you drop a peanut just as they're approaching you because they look overzealous.
Often, they take it directly from your hands.
They're cheeky bastards.
They take a peanut and sink their teeth right into it, and come back for more.
They take another, run back a few paces and bury it into the ground.
And then they come back.
You walk past them, and there are squirrels in other places.
If I were you, I'd just lie there in hopes of forever.
And then there are pigeons.
Who're just flying around trying to steal whatever food you have.
They try to take the peanuts from the squirrels and the bread from the ducks. You ask a three-year-old to chase them.
They fly away and come back and it starts all over again.
You weren't alone?
No. I had my cousin's children with me but they were doing their own thing on the side where there's a play area for children.
So I was alone through all of this.
And overlooking this entire lake and cherry blossoms and bare trees and squirrels and ducks and pigeons, is a tiny place.
It's like a shelter, with a wooden bench.