Green stalks pull my focus in a photograph from years ago. I don’t remember the hike being springtime, but it must have been. I see your phantom features in the reflection of my sunglasses, my head craned back to look at you, nearly 6’5, and standing on a rock at that! Your height, the day, the long walk makes me look shallow and reedy in the photo. Or perhaps that’s the look of lean times spent feasting on empty lies, moving from one heartache to the next, migraines and not enough sleep, time spent wondering when we would finally break each other completely.
Distance didn’t cure our sickness, Miah, as we thought it would. This place isolated our issues, separated them out into colors. Red for your drinking and the color of your eyes. Gold for my desire and the truth. Blue for skinny dipping under the naked moon, and white for the lies that stitched us together.
Nothing left of that time now except a photo that doesn’t even show your face. Just mine. Determined to climb as high as I could with you and then suffer the fall back to Earth. I’m lucky. I was able to achieve one of those goals before the heat and color caught up with us. There is no memory of early phoenix without you and the hole that remained after the sun burned you away. What color should I paint that hole? Dark in the abscess. Strange in design. Deep in tenor.