• Kaitlyn E. Joyner

Proximity

The edges of shadows pulse against shapes of light, nature's ever-shifting lace draped over the pavement, welcoming us to retrace its history. We remember the formations of the quiet display of shadows, just as we remember all of the patterns we rehearse in our minds, in the landscape of the past.


Wisteria and heaven scent magnolias perfume the air, making our heads ache, and we’re drunk on the proximity of old blooms to newborn ones. Reintroducing ourselves to the things we know again and again until everything bleeds together, we let our desperation unfold around us. All we can do is reach for moments that aren’t there, fingers weak and long and outstretched, the weight of our own bodies inflated with longing. It’s what we do best — our hearts are accustomed to running themselves wild in invisible waiting rooms. Anticipation never dies.



The swell of the flowers against the blanket of heat mimics the way we lean into our own touch, into the anticipation of the patterns we worship. We sink into the warmth of remembered breaths and flushed laughter that slips into caverns of want, toothed with insatiability. We are nothing more than creatures of habit, eavesdropping on the past as if we own it, and it’s pathetic, and we know this. But it’s all we can do to yield, to let the past burn its sigil into the present.


Is there anything more delicate than this, the weight between the familiar and the strange? The day seems to hold its breath a bit longer, and the sun burns and floats steady, willing our dance with time forward, forward, despite the tilt of our heads to gaze back. Everything settles and sighs, but we feel the shift, still.

It becomes a fruitless routine: the effort to wring oneself dry of what was, the being swallowed up by the sheer veil of everything that has ever held us. Quietly, we dismantle our own realities and reconstruct them against wishful blueprints, letting the degrees of difference consume us, lighting forest fires in the fragile ecosystems of our minds and then wondering at the source of the flame.

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