A kiss can make an oasis in the most unlikely of settings and it wasn’t until recently that I learned it is even possible for it to spontaneously create a life-sustaining circle to the middle of a city where I had felt dehydrated for far too long. But it’s not just water I needed because the water here (when you can find it), they say, is some of the best in the country, but it compared in no way, shape or form to the effect your lips had on mine in the center of the center of this urban desert, where boundaries shift and change just as the wind does. New construction and constant changes to the landscape helps to block the sun, so I have not had to worry about sunstroke, but other brief respites and access to water have turned out to have nothing more than poisoned wells, or simply mirages that have faded into the din of sirens and car exhaust smoke.
On the dull grey stones I felt you hold me tighter, as if to shield against the noise, the shrieks and the crazy. You took care of me without taking care of me, and I felt sated for the first time perhaps in my entire life. A new feeling, enough, because I didn’t know what “enough” felt like for too long – there were always more distractions, more tribes to join and to which I hoped to assimilate. Most of the folk I encountered shunned me though, saw through frenzied chatter and the emptiness of my words, which can still flicker when I am nervous, like a falling star that I can still see here, at night.
I want to hold your hand and watch meteorites cross the sky with you, because I know that you can see them too.
We talked about the bright constellations one evening, I think, when it was cool enough to sit outside, but warm enough to be pleasant. You told me the stories you’d contributed to the history of the cosmos, tales which were powerful yet true, words selected with precision and care, but not too much caution, for everything is beautifully imperfect, even the best stories of heroes and bygone times. I remembered contributions that I’d made and thoughts I’d harbored regarding new designs and images composed across the sky, but dazzled by too much sunshine and lost in the same, shifting sands and frugal shady palm trees, I spent too long at night simply being fearful and alone. I never anticipated I would be within and yet without such an oasis that I found but also helped create. There were so many heavy steps up and down over the dunes and it was too hard for me to conjure up such a place below. I had the power, but it simply was not possible, I learned, so instead, I trained myself to understand the desert, the sands’ movement, the weather patterns and even the nights when it would be ideal to watch stars fall, oh so quietly. But the fact you’d seen shooting stars too, that was priceless, in a place where when there are things to buy and everything’s cost is far too high and I’ve conserved water, energy and imagination for far too long.
I know that you can breathe this green air and enjoy this same water as I do because it is time to believe.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”