Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

We watch the waves crash across the ocean shore on another sunny Florida day. “Mercury is in retrograde” you say. I nod absently. The ocean always does that to you, I muse. It makes you all solemn and astronomical. I watch our tanned feet imprint our stories in the white sand. The warm breeze blows our defences away. I feel your stare as I undress and walk toward the distressed tide. Do you know how much more time unclothing the layers of my heart can take ?

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“Is this seat taken ?” You’re on tiptoes, I wave you inside. I hope my bitten fingernails do not convey the fear that eating out alone by yourself for the first time can bring.

” So you’re new here ?” Yeah, hiding my nervousness really was a long shot. I nod politely. ” The sushi here is superb, let me order us the first round” Maybe it was your unrelenting nature, or maybe it was the two beers I gulped down earlier for liquid courage, but somewhere between then and now, I finally feel myself start to relax.

The sushi really was great. You tell stories easily. Of Miami, of your favorite places. You paint murals and design words out of what were once merely empty corners of the city in my mind. The cold stare of the  buildings is now converted to the warmth and humidity that so many of us have grown to love about Florida. This city is your safe haven, it is your home, and maybe I realize you can find that in a person.

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” Como  esta’s” I sigh, flailing my arms wildly. You laugh hopelessly as I struggle to grasp Spanish. We’re sprawled across the oversized couch in our living room. That sounds reverberates off every wall and it rings in my ear like my most beloved lullaby.

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” Where is it? Where did you keep it ?” I watch you in the middle of our upturned living room. Dilated pupils, racing heart rate and sweaty palms- a silhouette of the man I once knew.

” I threw it out.” The steadiness of my tone surprises even me.

“You wouldn’t! You bitch!” I shut the door briskly to shield me from your incoming fist. The banging and the yelling drown out every last ounce of restraint left inside me to hold on. I watch my pained face reflect off the centerpiece. The white lines on it cross out every good memory of you, they transform you.

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“Please, please put it down” I am on my knees. My quivering footsteps try to make up the miles between us. Every nerve ending alight, the hairs on your skin feel cold to my touch. I attempt to embrace all the damage, to make up for lost time. But, your withdrawal wins.

The gun shot cuts the table into two. The white lines pool on your side.

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“So any plans of coming back to Miami?” the officer’s voice snaps my nightmare short. ” Not anytime soon.” I wonder if they hold people back for trembling at answers to innocent questions. My facade holds.

I watch the city lights dim in the background until the little details blur out our outlines. Flying towards the illusion of freedom and always flying with the ghost of you.

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