We were in that hotel by the ocean. You and I in that bed in that hotel room; the world outside behind the curtains dipping in the late afternoon breeze. You buzzed about with your things to do list, your book with all the places of interest, as if we could still pretend we had all the time in the world. I looked up at the tiled ceilings so high, the ancient frescoes faded and chipped so elegantly, you the countess of the crumbling villa of my mind.
And somehow we made it so it did not matter
that they knew
where we were.
It did not matter
that they were
out to get
we knew they would
It did not matter
that when they came for us
it would be forever
this time; we both knew we had put off the inevitable for as long as we could, passed through all the boundaries, our bodies together and apart, hand in hand hurdling head first through all the fears.
The doorbell chimed as the alarm rang out, and you, on cue, innocently went to unlock
for the delivery men just as you once told me you would, for that was your destined role.
I called to you
not to forget
to make plans
for our trip
to the countryside, though we both knew there never would be one.
But before I got up to shower, shave and accept our fate,
I watched you
and made myself
what it was. No matter what happened now, as I watched you one last time,
that I would never
what this room
Then they burst through the door, guns drawn, murder and fire in the nozzles of their eyes.
Alone, I awaken calmly in my childhood bed (long ago converted into a guest room and office.) I'm not now an infant, there's no mystical return to innocence, the clean slate or tabula raza I've heard so much about. I'm just lying here in the bed I grew up in, me, who must now begin all over again knowing full well that there never really can be a beginning all over again for people like us...
Fort Washington, PA - 7/20/05