Remember when I loved you in that little room in the middle of a city on East coast time? That studio of us. That gallery of our laughter and our fears, our yelling, our tears, our dancing footsteps, our midnight cooking, our morning bed, our shower singing. Remember when you were my music? I listened to the tone of your voice on repeat. I soaked you up, I soaked you in. Remember when I chose you? Hand selected, handcrafted, hands on, your hand on my hand, homemade, handmade love. I miss you through this touchless quiet. More than anything, I want your key turning in the lock, your shoes next to mine in the closet, your feet peeking out from the end of the bed, your sleeping eyes. I want to smell you when I roll over so it feels like you’ll be back soon. The way distance leaves bruises, MAN! It hurts more than all the sinewy sad memories holding up the buildings along 20th and F St.
I want to talk about things that make my toes curl up on the mossy floor rug of my childhood bedroom. I want to idle, just for a while, by that memory of rain drenched February or your face adorned with oversized sunglasses and a smile so bright that it leaves sun spots on the photograph. I want to savor the powdered sugar kissing your chin from the fried Oreos at the boardwalk and the sweet sleep that accompanies the hum of my best friend’s car after a day of hills and thrills and wind blown hair. I want to remember bright red fingernails on the back of your neck and bright red lips drunk with singing off tune to the kind of music that brings you back in time. I want to summon the simple and astonishing magic of just how long I have been loving you when I feel your electric hand in mine at the old school drive in movie theatre where the cars come late and fill with smoke. I want to overhear you laughing quietly together in the morning about something you dreamt up the night before. I want to listen to the waves of the Pacific slapping happily against a little barge at sunset under a golden bridge wrapped in a Shakespearean sleeve of fog. I want angels in the daytime sparkling around my neck like a charm from my oldest friend who has a demon tattoo on the inside of his arm and a cross on the other for balance. I want ghosts at night who whisper while you’re clicking your heels down the sidewalk and rub your earlobe when its time to cry. I want to dance one last time in a panic of happiness and catch a glimpse of you when you are looking away, thinking of somewhere else, of stars and sun stuff and clouds that move too fast across an orange sky. I want you to last, California, like shadows on the wall after a nuclear explosion. I want to sear you into my skin for an eternity and live off of the memory of faces that I love too much to leave.