Last week, you showed up with the thunder on my doorstep.
Your voice was so drenched with the rain that I almost didn’t recognize the way you said my name. It hung in the air like an incomplete sentence, like something unfamiliar, like you were so lost from trying to find everything we left behind and piece it back together that you couldn’t find me in your heart anymore. It was pouring and the power was out and I was so tired of watching the world fall apart from outside my windows that I let you back inside my arms and inside my senses, and your bones were shaking as you clung to me and told me how good it felt to come back home.
There was something forced in our actions, as if we were going through the motions of something we had practiced a hundred times before. Your lips were all orchestrated movements against mine and the arch of your back and shudder of your breath felt rehearsed, so that when you lay tangled and spent in my bedsheets I let my mouth wander the terrain of your shoulder and tried to trace our timeline back to the moment I stopped loving you, to the moment you became a memory of someone else’s lifetime. I kissed your skin and wondered when you became a brief, familiar instant that passed over me like a shadow.
I should admit that when you were gone the next morning, I didn’t look for you. I drank my coffee like nothing happened and locked my door when the sun set; I turned off the porch lights and slept on the couch in case my pillowcase still smelled like the soft waves of your hair. Three nights ago, I pressed my hipbones into a shift stick and fogged up the windows when my lips collided with someone new in the front seat of her car, and I think maybe I scared her because I think I kissed her as if she were you, and honestly, I didn’t want to.
Tonight, the heavens feel heavy and the sky is getting darker and I’m hoping that the worst of you has passed. I’m hoping that this is the calm and not the storm, and maybe one day I’ll wake up without feeling the aftershocks of your natural disaster.