Following the roads that lead along the river,
the turns and washed out crevices that only we know.
Under the shadows of moving clouds in the vast Kansas sky
I kissed you in a ring of watching oak trees,
the first witnesses of my heart presented on bleeding paper.
In the wildflower dance of that neverending afternoon,
I blanketed your body with the wounds I learned to heal
before my hand could hold steady enough to untie the ribbon in your hair.
So I swallowed all of yesteryear’s memories
to try and give you a real word,
a purity from my lips untasted by any others but you.
The trust in your crying eyes,
as if you had seen all of this happen before,
somewhere not too different than here,
in a dream you use to dream when you were a little girl.
And the disappointment of reality became
the tripping step of mad love, falling hard for the imperfections
of all our failed promises.
I never wanted to be what hurt you the most,
or a painful chapter in the story you wrote
with your skin and hair and lips and love.
Is there no other way to exist as close to someone as we have been?
Our pain preserved like rusting metal left in the fields,
where I saw the red tail resting on the fence,
his face turned to the sky,
so that his eyes may better watch
the movements upon the ground.