we the road on. a rising ocean sense melts into each building, park, cobblestone. wander we round White Point Gardens, west towards Murray Boulevard, past rainbows of eighteenth century homes, up Ashley onto the perimeter of Colonial Lake. the air thick with smell harbor. towards the shipyards; the sandier roads, stick to skin. palms sigh, shake bowed heads side aside. evening blows kisses at dusk, sighing, filling me with storm sense. doesn’t come. come swarms of locusts, palmetto bugs, just so long as the palms stop sighing and water from heavens returns sand to sea.
we make our way. it’s hot less than noon. the sun is only out to play for another hour. perhaps a more bite, but ours, playmate for now.
running is a lonesmile that tilts corners, drink, and lights into our mouths. running is a perfect, waiting for us. the world comes in, one frame at a time; each passerby the history of movement, a point in ourandtheir time. hisandher time. a flash for the both of us, taking theys away and back to the self hope. our plodding faith in steps unite us in motion.
i bend down and touch the ground with palms. the asphalt breathes to my touch. people on the sidewalk don’t seem as they tiptoe round moments here. everything is orchestrated: the movement of people, the scent harbor, the shadowstretch from benches slim trees. a few joggers more than Moresmile and i. bicyclists moving along circuit to meet market, cannon, and sea shudder down. stare i on King and Queen corner, face down. the sidewalk a featherbed. the mosaic old moviehouse tile block to hum smellsounds. kiss kiss Queen Street. little golden nameplate tastes. kiss kiss Atlantic Ocean. palmetto pleasing. kiss kiss Charleston. sweat swimming light-headed euphoria. kiss kiss. even awkwardness is comfortable in my feet hesitant.
“You have a cramp or something Sam?”
yes. the constant endearment terms. my name made command; gistless.
“Sam? Are you okay?”
jogs she in place, looks onandon, not here but ahead with moments to come. the breeze follows her gaze, an eye-desire, the panic of happy a tenuous.
“I’m a little dehydrated I think. You go on ahead. I’ll make it back alright on my own.”
“To the hotel? Sam, the point wasn’t the run, but to spend time together.”
it’s a frail on her part. look i down to her padding feet, up and down, up and down, soles tack taken, volley themselves and the whining eye. they and she want the harbor now, the cannons near, the splash power of an ocean at her feet. her point was the run.
“I’ll see you in an hour or two. No use pitching your run because I’m tired. I’ll rest up and be better company tonight when you get back.”
“Yeah sure. Run.”
the world is indeed period.
she running ignores fleeting moments melancholy. Moresmile bears no grudge or resemblance to Lot’s wife. think i to wait for her safely away, but only a headback. no worries of concern. look i to my own digits, embrace my slice of King. in and ex hale. mine not my own.
i break into my desire sprint, back hotel the way. a three minute. slumped body mine, the sweat, the stride accent conversion; day to night. i am buried in the slow moment, gladly. body speaks for the pester-wind, trudges give voice to the palms like hands coming together in imitation applause silent. and smile. in the side, all i can is curl to a bedded ball. i and the mind drift where: she smiles. she is happily run. i resent her immunity to dusk. she but is immune to most things that soul sneeze me. her allergies are a mystery. sometimes a breakdown to knee collapse, but leave i no better informed and wonder if she walks with much more. things get to Moresmile. not dusk, but other parts of the days between, other words that spill, other news, smells.
i don’t learn. mine internal war; the battles contrived, unnecessary, lost.
when i am a very old man i will remember watching her brush her teeth. it was a more specific frozen moment. my frozen didn’t know why, but the bris-brush to attention mouth telling not so delicate hands to do a not so delicate thing. bris-brush forth and back, bris-brish, brush-brush. riveting.
there were two Moresmiles in my viewfinder, one directly in through the eye and one a reflection in the bris-bris mirror. i didn’t know why. i still don’t today. it was notconscious, to step back and watch such a simple thing. it thawed me, eyes warm coals seeking ground through scalded snow. she, my Moresmile, was brushing and burning light. i was aquatic crisp toasted time living in my Moresmile motion. she let me stare never wavering, really enjoying the cool brush-bris, turning with lip smacks of fresh teeth to take a biting smile out of me.
never loved anyone more than that instant. she was never more Moresmile to me than in that short sweet performance to a mirror and me, me still and loveanxious, waiting for her decorous jaws to spread wide and devour me. start with the neck my dear and forage what blood you might have left there. take every last drop.
dream turns a birthday party childhood six. little first grade friends mine. i feel and friends seem: strange. what does it mean to be six? what had it meant to be five? i a kid still a kid. am i looking forward to being six? do i feel older? my mother must be proud of me. for turning six? that’s crazy. marshmallow icing. pin the tail on the donkey. someone spin me around. give me a needle. let me do some damage. i’m seven. i’m eight. nine. seventeen cake and candles. twenty. maybe two three. no thirty. let me try a hundred seventy. just cake the bring in and bury my face to the earbacks. let me eat cake for one more year.
hush little baby. don’t say a word. mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird. if that mockingbird don’t sing, think i of Salieri. no there comfort. Mozart is already dead with no hand i in it. pale skin degenerates. hair and nails push deeped into six feet soil. no hand i to it. just one raindrop deluge and lines dissolve, shake a little as body becomes compost, feed for growing children. the child grows from my hands from days ago dig dirt palms.
baby present. a cloud-staring day turnpike. the swampy surroundings of New Jersey. the glow of the perpetual dawn. perception. concrete forest. deadening human silence amid horns buzzing streetlights. rusted cars move in and out of themselves as we descend the tenday. any ending but would be untrue. memory locked in a perpetual youth, wrapped inside fantasies.