you were miserable, bitter, hating the whole world
and I said: let’s take a hike. A hike to solve all problems.
(you: you shake your fist at the world, unfair, all of it!
you throw handfuls of your grief to the wind, and the wind blows them back to you, sand in your eyes. you, baudelairean angst and philosophical thought and that crease between your eyebrows. you, needing to write, to leave, to do something. you who never will.
one step forward, two steps–)
let’s go, I said. Just go.
I bounced in my cut-off shorts and worn sandals, turned up the radio to drown out your sorrow.
positivity ran from me like sweat, I was solar powered. you lived in a storm of cantsneversimpossibles.
we walked the narrow path kicking stones and dead leaves
and I lifted my face to the sun, heart buoyant, a balloon knocking against my ribs.
I heard the sweet crunch of twigs under our feet and thought how words weren’t needed here and you said
this is really hard on my knees.
come on, I said and I pulled at your hand like an impatient toddler and
we ascended, eventually. the view: my breath caught in my throat. I looked at you, expectant, but your eyes were on your feet. you scraped a clump of mud off your heel.
Just look, I said, forcing it now. howsmallweare, howgreenthetrees, how wonderful, the beauty of spring. You were silent (in contemplation, I dared to hope).
then you spoke. Even here, you said, even here some asshole leaves trash on the ground. I looked at you, your eyes at the bottom of the valley, the fire of your disgust aimed at a single crumpled bag, Lay’s potato chips.
you simmered and suffocated, missed the forest for the trees.
I laughed, cold, as all my hope evaporated. I could never help you and the knowledge weighed sudden: a thrown anchor, the rope around my neck.
we stood side by side in insurmountable separation, cause for mourning. you were unaware, but I could never go back. the fragile beauty I had seen was like the dew on spiderwebs: tenuous, lovely, ephemeral.
an organic metaphor, startling and sad: I saw the view and
you saw the chip bag.