Rain-soaked

we were melting with the evening rain

hands slipping together and apart

as we stumbled over our drunk feet

and the river cracks in the sidewalks.

cars passed in a flurry of 2 am lights,

sleepy eyes behind wheels

barely noting the glare off our wide grins

my yellow hat plastered to my head,

your waffle shirt conforming to every muscle in your body

as we discussed our love of the rain

and I thought about what word I would use

to describe you,

us,

this feeling between our hands as

they fell together and apart

with every step

“should we just say it?”

you said with a glance as our hands fell apart

“should we?”

our feet running parallel with the sidewalk edges

as the glare sets in and every second

seemed reflected in the ongoing downpour….

the way I remember it

no one else was around,

the streets quieted to listen in

as a solitary second seemed to span

days,

miles,

thousands of heartbeats

before the wind whistled in my ear

“Because I do….

I do love you”.

And then we fell together,

hands, lips, rain-soaked clothes

and I laughed

our “I love you”s came at 2 am

drenched in rain,

with beer-soaked lips

as cars passed by unaware

of the moment melting in memory.

Meeting the Jock

If I saw him across a dark, smokey bar

holding his fourth unfamiliar beer of choice,

brushing at his short blonde hair,

unconsciously displaying the muscular shapes

barely hidden by his American Eagle t-shirt.

yes – then I would make assumptions

he screams ‘stereotype’

with his soccer shoes and tanned arms

you can see the miles he’s biked

and the hours he’s spent running

in the curve of his calves

you can see the weights he’s lifted

(perhaps even the number of girls he’s banged)

in the tone of his mid-section

but I didn’t just glance to meet his silver-blue eyes

after a few drinks

I didn’t judge and dismiss

I sat waiting

wine glass in hand

a game of pool filling the air around me

fidgeting with my obnoxiously neon

(and slightly too short) dress

waiting to meet this man I’d only seen in still-shots

and imagined between the lines of his text messages

I never thought or spent time worrying

that I was about to have a blind date

with a jock

with the type of guy who made fun of me in high school

I wondered- worried –

would I be too ‘artsy’?

too much of a nerd?

would he see past my perfectly made-up face

and see the tom-boy reflected in the bruises on my legs?

a guy like him

-the seemingly Aryan Jock-

he would want a princess in pink

not a warrior with skinned knees…

this is what I thought

when finally I glanced to see him leaning at the bar,

beer list in hand,

I swiveled my chair, crossed my legs, pointed my toes

staring out the window and trying to sip my wine like a woman

in a famous painting

or an old black and white film

when he finally said my name – approaching with confidence –

his voice filled that little front room

and it was warm to the touch…

a smile followed that seemed to embrace me

as he sat opposite of me at the high bar table…

I can’t be certain, but I think when I matched his greeting

with my own nervous confidence

and grinned that crooked smile that scrunches up my hazel eyes

I think he saw…….

me…..

he saw my too short dress revealing my thigh tattoo,

my bruises glowing under the dim bar lighting,

my smudged makeup, my messy asymmetrical hair,

the way my hands slightly shook as I drank my wine

(and sips of his beer)

way too fast to be the princess I was pretending to be

he saw the warrior with skinned knees

and he smiled.

and that’s who I met

not the jock,

not the stereotype,

but the man who saw the warrior

and smiled

and leaned in because he wanted to know more.

The lumberjack dreamer

spandex stretches across his broad shoulders,

the seams pulling taut to his meticulous form

– his body being his creation –

all of his shoes give off the faint reminder

of the field-lengths he’s run as captain,

as athlete.

thick, coarse blonde hair curls ever so slightly

as the morning sun drains through my shades

and his deep-set eyes open to stare at the ceiling.

I stare at the way the sun angles off his features,

diving deep into his sliver-blue eyes,

altering the true appearance of his strong jawline,

falling gracefully against his soft lips

he is not what he appears,

nor not what he seems to be –

he lies in bed with me

the girl with tousled hair, one side cut shorter than his,

with muscles and yet aches to match

whose laugh is deep – belly-seated

whose closet is full of men’s shirts and girl’s dresses

whose face is more often clean than well made-up

he lies in bed with me

the type of girl opposite of the one the world told him to love

he laughs in bed with me,

he grins that crooked grin – bringing the slightest gold glint into his eyes –

he speaks in one tone,

never changing with emotion

and yet speaks nothing but kindnesses and loving jokes

toward the center of my eardrums.

——— to be continued ————

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