Opium & Keats

I stepped off the train and into the rain – 33rd and 7th, New York City.

Manhattan burned in slick, neon arcade; the moon a pendulum in the sky. I tightened my collar and melded into the avenue, forgotten before I was even remembered. This had been the setting to our plot, where love letters were torn from the heart and when I loved her so madly, so sweet, like Byron, Shelley, opium, and Keats.

Opium & KeatsThe New Yorker beckoned, its crimson letters as entrancing as her lips.

It was there we played tag beneath the sheets – our phones unanswered, the world forgotten, our promises broken.

She laughed naked, her sweat a perfume, her hair a monochrome mess, complaining about it as if it would have made her any less beautiful than she had always been.

It was between the street and the sky that we drank among the nobodies, the loveless, and the restless until we were drunk and famous.

Lust stricken crowds clawed at the loneliness of night’s end. I watched them whisper and wonder into her ear, and yet, while lost in jealous reverb, I felt her smile embrace me and her arms hold me. We stumbled into the street and into each other’s lips; beneath those electric lights we kissed as if we had just discovered our tongues.

It all so carefully resembled love.

Then I was a fool, and what fools do is allow the world around them to shatter before they even consider picking up the pieces.

And in a runaway storm she asked what she meant to me. She had her reasons, just as I did when I chased her down the avenue.

Tongue-tied and twisted, I refused to confess, refused to surrender to love. I could have said anything, but nothing escaped from me that night except for her. She told me that she loved me, that she could never live without me, and then she walked away.

I convinced myself that I did not love her, that it was a New York City fling, nothing more than two fools’ tryst. But now I am caught in that yesterday, lost in those ambrosial nights when everything that mattered was her. We were arbitrary hearts separated by stubborn subtleties, able to mend the broken pieces with only the hands of those who shattered them.

We abandoned one another, leaving our love suspended within a timeless void, too distant for either of us to touch.

And it’s still there between the streetlights and sidewalks; and, that is where it will always be. Forever elusive, unclaimed and undisturbed in the city where it belongs.

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