Wednesday, November 14, 2012

only ours

you're not sure when you stopped
meaning something.

well, since you asked,
yes, i do miss the things
that were once only ours.

our favorite place to be
was in the front seats of your car,
you at unsteady wheel
and me picking up your misses on the road.
Matt Nathanson would happily serenade us
and you and i would serenade him right back
as if he could hear us through a one-sided stereo,
but we always did him one better
by harmonizing --
you so loved those harmonies
we shared.
they brought his music to life for us,
the too-true lyrics
resonating long after the songs had ended.
it was like
this guy
had taken our own lives,
read every page
and written about them,
spreading experience, emotion
across radio waves
and bedrooms
and iPods
and hearts
like the tastiest butter.

i still recall fondly
the concert he gave at our school;
at five bucks per head
it was a fucking steal
but he must have known
we were broke college kids
who'd wasted our parents' money
on beer the week before.
he asked what we wanted to hear
and we told him
and he listened and played it all
into perfection.
you got it all on camera
and sent me the videos;
i watch them now
and as amazing as Matt was that night
all i can think of
is you
because he was ours.

the best day i had last summer
was my 23rd birthday
when you visited me in Florida
and we spent it in Walt Disney World,
a place that had seemed only mine
for weeks
and then opened up to accommodate you
there in the midst of my dream.

we rode Mission: Space together
and Zach got so excited
to be a part of the journey
that he dubbed us Team Awesome
and there we were,
a cluster of young adults
who'd been transformed by the magic
into invincible kids.
we had a superhero stance and everything.

we rode it five times in a row
so we'd all have a turn at each role,
and that day
all of it --
the buttons on the inside that we couldn't wait to push,
Gary Sinise as our trusty flight director,
going to space and back in four minutes,
all of it
was ours.

the night before you left
in the hotel
we were in bed
talking about life
and i cried
because i'd been lonely and homesick,
because it had meant the world to have visitors,
because i didn't want you
to go.
you held me
and cried with me
and told me that you loved me
and that at last
you understood what i felt for you.

it pains my heart to know
how often you think of that moment now;
i remember it like yesterday

but somewhere in between the beginning and the end
i got hurt
and in turn you got hurt
and the things that had been only ours
disintegrated back into
facts of life
for everyone.

i'm not sure when you stopped
meaning something;
i don't think you've stopped
meaning something.
but if we've lost
those things that were ours,
much of the meaning
has gotten lost, too,
all that ever defined you and me
has gotten lost, too.

yes, i do miss the things
that were once only ours.



Kim Nelson said...

Well, Dana, you've managed to tell the story of love, grown and gone, in the prose-poem. And you've done it while keeping the reader engaged and interested. Not easy. I like the references you add that lock the piece in time... Matt Nathanson... 23...
Good write, this.

Dana Leah said...

oh thank you, Kim. i worry about poems like this that turn quickly to a prose-like style...but i'm glad it's interesting and not rambling. :) x