Harriet Selina: ‘Last Time Down Memory Lane’

For Sana

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December

J. M. Barrie.

The paint’s flaking off the door and stained with marmalade rust,
and I climb in as the sun splays its fingertips through the tall grass
while the prairie sings ‘time isn’t real here.’ The truck’s baking in July sweat
as we pull up at the four way stop – there’s that waitress, puffing away
under the neon sign of Joe’s, the one who gives us free coffee.
No time today.  The clock on the dashboard reads 15.04 –
funny ’cause we met April 15th. We pass by your old house,
bleached shutters blocking the room we made love in
naked and damp while headlights crossed the walls.
Seven hundred yards down Milestone Boulevard we park up
and climb onto the bonnet, pressing cold cans of cola to our cheeks –
feels like you could make the sky move if you wanted.
‘So’, he says. ‘So’, I say. I turn back toward the road and it’s gone,
melted into orange peel eventide.
‘You’ve worn it away’ – he wears that easy grin but his eyes are sad.
‘End of the road kiddo’, he brushes a thumb over my collarbone.
‘Look’ he points to the distance, ‘all that’s waiting for you’.
Eyes flicker over mini castles trying to kiss
the horizon. The sun’s fallen asleep and blue petals fall
as the stars start singing to us. He sighs, ‘take my keys, you gotta go’.
So I get in and roll down the window, the breeze tastes like Sunday hymns.
He knows I won’t, so he leans in and starts the truck, ‘remember what
Pan said to Wendy’ he asks? I nod and he steps back from the truck.
‘I’ll be waiting’ he says, ‘in that place – between sleep and awake.
That’s where I’ll love you and that’s where I’ll be’.
I shift into first and switch on the radio. The skyline weeps on his shoulders
as I lift my foot off the clutch and my lips mouth I love you.

Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Harriet Selina

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