Category Archives: Holly Bruns

Just This

I sit here, perched above the world, watching your moon cut a path
across the darkened ocean. A wall of rock, jagged and mysterious in
the dark, falls away from me, us, to meet the sandy beach where we sat
earlier today. You fed me a mango then, off the tip of your knife. I
watched you peel and slice and nick yourself leaving drops of blood on
the hot, sandy beach. The cool ocean licked at our heels as we sunned
ourselves in the orange glow of an afternoon. We were happy lying
side-by-side on cheap towels, not even the sight of your bleeding
finger could touch us. We had daylight then, our ally. But when the
horizon pulled the sun from our view it became impossible to linger,
to ignore the passing of time. So up the rugged path, over ancient
gnarled roots, we climbed and left the dwindling noise of the
laughing, drinking crowd behind us. Trading voices for silence, save
the sound of our breathing and the crickets, the night became still
and foreign in its quiet. I stumbled in the dark and you caught me in
your arms.
+++++Time came along and flipped our world, put us in the sky, and now the
sun looks up at us while we sit here next to the stars gazing into the
darkness.
+++++Under the moonlight, this bamboo balcony reaches far enough out into
the night so that we are suspended, encircled by air, and floating in
this stringed hammock, perfect for two – a night ship holding us in
its curve. Bats clip in and out of the palm tree fronds. They chase an
evening meal with radar tuned so precisely on a fly, a tiny,
imperceptible fly. The boats are out balancing on top of the water
with their flashlights beamed downwards into the dark sea, their
artificial lights enticing baby squid up from watery dreams and
trapping them in the dry, breathy world of fishermen. Everything is as
it is every night, as it has been for weeks past. Rows of half bamboo
strapped together with twine hold the sky above us, sheltering us, and
in the distance stars flicker down to meet the water’s edge lighting
up the horizon.
+++++Between us, our limbs are a mix of brown and pale, a directionless map
with no beginning or ending; an undulating circle of difference and
sameness, of choices and promises and things unspoken. The cool,
tropical night air leaves us drowsy.
+++++I rest back, and you light my cigarette. The smell of you, of tobacco,
and soap overpower my breath. ‘My friend’ you say, about to start a
thought, and I laugh. You call everyone your friend. And then you
laugh too, taking the cigarette from me.
+++++Holding your hand up in the light I trace the milky half moons at the
base of your nails and the brown creases of your knuckles, they are
soft, like you. I will miss your hands. I had noticed the scar that
first day when you held out a coffee for me to take: a sharp line
running down the length of your index finger, all healed and rigid.
Perhaps you cut it while peeling a mango – for someone. I trace it
with my index finger. Bump.
+++++Then you go dark, it hurts and you want to fight with me, to make it
easier for you. You try accusations and petty name calling. But your
rough words are drowned out by the gentle pulling of waves on the
beach, of stars in the sky, and the soft distance between us. You lose
momentum. You don’t really have the heart for it. Tomorrow you can be
angry with me. Tomorrow you will have all day, and more, to be angry
with me.
+++++But tonight, now, while you are distracted and struggling to hold your
anger, I steal all this from you. I gather it from the corners of our
limited world, and wrap it up in a dancing globe in my mind’s eye. I
do this so deftly that you don’t even notice its leaving – this moment
you thought was yours too. I steal it so that I can secret it away and
later take it out and bounce it around, so it will still be fresh, and
new, and mine. I will carry this moment, and one day it will carry me,
and you will still be here, cutting yourself and bleeding on mangoes.