Away

Written by: Allison Ballard

Your gashing shadow
on the campus bricks,
pinions me to bow and stick
to an aching fetal pose
pulling more than the sallow
shoes of a newly freed man
 
My marred heart implodes
as a cry of alert
that my turgid insides
won't keep their place
as they're abraded
with each step you take
away
 
I am twenty today-
a scolding age that
I tuck in my pocket
along with my name
and my shameful austerity
a hint at the verity
that sleeps behind my face
 
But you were ageless,
like the royal sky
and lusty tree
in my memory, a
gentle green where 
you draped around me
and met my mouth
with such soft favor
gingerly collecting swigs
of my flushing lips  
So afraid of breaking me.
 
You held me like a bird,
our bodies sedate 
clement words 
like the clouds
sweet as water to my heart
Your hands knew
the curve of my legs
that pushed further
through the night
loosing fear with time
and my mind with wine.
I thought of little more than you
and the sky
 
But winter was a marauder
that stalked my wealth well,
with its furtive hands wide
prodding with gifts laced
with lies disguised
by buttery eyes.
the retiring feet were
 too subtle
like the cracks in my knees
that bring me 
collapsed
to your shrinking back
 
You're a disaster
marking seals on my arm
even today, my birthday
where I see my normal days
are made a blade 
and I'm afraid
to watch you now
like fallen prey.
Because you walk away
 
and I still love you.