Sleight of hand is difficult when your hands can’t cover the mark.

Sometimes, I find myself a grain of sand, and the grain of sand is love and all the grains of sand on the beach are my love for you.

I will build you a garden when you wed another man for prosperity and shunned repose. A wedding I will hide from in the wallow of an empty well. I have let the history of the ocean wake dry around my ankles like salt on a margarita glass.

Home is where the heart is. Our home is on the beach, soaking the silent song of the sun.

In the heat of cemeteries, looking at the empty graves we never occupied, we would sigh for a memory we won’t share.

I’ve let you go like a kite. I premised to tie two sets of sting together and raveled them around the figurative handle. When the wind caught, the string spun and I stuck my fingers in the tube it was wound upon. I let the roll spin, scraping my knuckles bloody. I counted for a moment the anxiety I felt when I knew the knot I tied in the string was coming, and I wondered if it would break. I counted to three, she loves me… she loves me not… she loves me... When the knot held and the string continued to unravel in the natural way, I looked at the blue sky and the hanging clouds and wished I was the kite sailing like the sky falling into me.

The red ball is in the middle of the room. It sits under the archway where the mistletoe hung.
The ball teeters from side to side.
Pick up the ball.
Hide it in your pocket.
When you are ready, take it out and roll it away.
Follow it.

The quiet house lingers like languid curtains in front of an open window. Sordid, midday heat permeates the plains of Western Illinois, heady with swollen whiskey and dry beer. This place where the spit tobacco juice grows crops in rust red soil, rests in our memory of the other. A time and a place, where sounding like you hear means something.

If you have been in this place of choice and are without, I fear you. I fear your desire, the one that I have. I fear your content with the status quo. I fear your veil of denied ignorance. I fear myself without a semblance of you.

The hidden ball we share swells for attention, restless while it rests. We hold on for extra moments to steady our hands before we let go. Bewildered excitement radiates as beads of sweat tickle our earlobes. Our eyes trip into a vortex of hope. The ball falls and we wait for an event.

Lackluster ordinary events reside. Our perplexed notions are bewildered by the lack of action. We stand above the ball, waiting for it to roll into a winner, a future of ages. The ball sits like a broken vase between us. I want it to stir, to show us a place to go. Secretly, I know she doesn’t want it to move. I know that she would prefer the listless hang of the curtains to the wind that would pull me away.

When I discover that we are on the beach of this love of mine, I laugh at the absurd notion of rolling the ball. Safely nestled in the powder sand, our content is whole. The tide sinks our toes and scoops the ball away with the flotsam. We jump, swimming after our little ball, kissing the salt on our lips.

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