On the Topic of Things Which Come and Go

i knew you once. and we were friends just like the others. you’d call me and i’d say yes. or i’d call you and maybe you’d smile. or maybe neither one of us placed a call, but somehow somewhere in the corners of our busy minds skittered thoughts like birds, pacing from tree to tree, making small sounds – sounds of wings, sounds of chirping, sounds of grinding beaks. then maybe i’d drive to where you were. or sometimes you’d drive to me. and we’d find food to eat, together. there would be words and sometimes laughter. maybe music, complaints, or ideas. we’d talk for hours. or we’d wave to one another from departing cars, and driveways.

there would be the scent of time escaping sweaty palms. there would be the sticky air of some small disagreement, perhaps. or else maybe location elbowed its fat way between us. in the end, it was nothing. nothing large or significant or even visible standing bulky and unbreachable in the sagging space between us until it would just snap. from pressure. or from disuse. and the birds died in their trees, except for maybe sometimes one or two. but they certainly don’t hop or twitter or puff their feathers into downy balls the way they once did. these thoughts shift infrequent, tired, neglected. these thoughts can barely lift their drooping heads. heads so young by standards of time so aged by forgetfulness, by distraction. by injury?

and so you were there. i knew you. we held hands or locked eyes, shared drinks or stories or even sometimes secrets. and then it was a dream. a memory. a phantom. another hand-held story to share with another one just like you. he’ll pass to vapor. she’ll pass to wind. they will erase themselves – not fully, but mostly: as have i, as have you. days and months will escape us. our hair will grow longer, will be cut into various designs. our teeth will grind and wear down. our ideas and our secrets will evolve. and we will each be different, and the same. we who never change will change with the war of years. and there will be more just like you. they will be friends just like the others.

and we will ride the current of this green ocean. and we will sing the song of ancient whales.

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2 thoughts on “On the Topic of Things Which Come and Go

  1. I love the brilliant use of metaphor Tim, the passing of thoughts and life and the memories that linger. Beautiful.

    • Thank you, as always, Holly, for your thoughtful reading of my work. This was… an emotional piece to write. Not just sad, either. More… nostalgic, perhaps? Just the ease with which we flit in and out of one another’s lives is… something to think about, I guess.

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