Elegy

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You never understood my need to watch the sunrise
You’d roll your eyes when I rolled out of bed
and dangled my feet over the edge
and ran my hand through the tangled mess on my head
Hair snapped off between my fingertips
You took my hand and gave it a kiss
and stole the silky strands, one by one,
and let them fall slowly to the ground

And you couldn’t see why the sunrise
was most beautiful on a rainy morning
when everything was glowing
and your smile was intoxicating
But you just took my face in your hands,
whispered that you didn’t have to understand,
and with your umbrella you left the house with me
and walked with me to the edge of the sea

I think you knew why our hands fit perfectly
as you held mine, as we stood side by side
before the great blue waves that stretched to eternity,
as we watched the sky burn pink and gold
Our toes digging into the cold wet sand,
we’d stand still, gaze into the distance and
see the red and white lighthouse striped like candy cane,
see the tiny footprints the seagulls made

On your favorite nights we’d sit on the balcony
We’d talk until I fell half asleep
A bottle of champagne, my head on your shoulder,
a summer night, what more could I ask for?
We could taste the sweetness of the heat in the air,
rubbed our feet against the warm wood floor,
it blackened my toes but you didn’t care
as you carried me to bed and kissed me between the sheets

I’d wake up to find your beautiful face,
lips curved into that electrifying smile,
eyes glinting with the hint of something wild,
staring, inevitably, into my own
I loved the way your fingers curled around mine,
you said my nails were the perfect shade of red,
and you loved the way my hair spilled over the pillow,
they were the darkest curls you’d ever seen, you said

Sometimes we’d lie in bed for hours on end
The electric fan on, you’d read to me
or pick up the guitar laying by the bedside,
strum a few chords just to hear me laugh
At night you’d take me out to walk around town,
see the golden glow of streetlights all around,
eat at the café, a little place we found,
and you should have seen the way your eyes shined

I miss those trips we took along the rocky coast,
driving along those curves until we found a spot
We sat on the hood of our car and gazed at the shore,
had our own little picnic in our own little world
I miss the moonlight walks on the beach at night
I miss our arms intertwined, the mosquito bites,
the rolling hills and the starlit sky
I miss the magic and the beauty of it all

I’ll never forget the first time you said you loved me
Could you hear my heart beating when you first kissed me?
I was counting the moments until you’d lean in
as we were sitting on the fence, our feet swinging
Our faces upturned to watch the crescent moon,
we hoped the night wouldn’t end too soon
It was long ago, we were just sixteen,
but we felt so alive and we felt so free

I know you loved that Sunday afternoon
when we hauled a stack of magazines into my room
and cut out all those words, our fingers sticky with glue,
and danced around in our bare feet to the radio
On my window seat, our legs tucked underneath,
as the sun fell in slanted bars across the carpet,
we looked at airbrushed models on the glossy pages
You said they’d never be as pretty as me

I’ll never forget the summer I met you
Just two kids sitting on a street corner
We’d chase the ice cream truck playing The Entertainer
I still remember that first ice cream cone you bought me
We’d drink cranberry juice and pretend it was wine,
have tea parties under the big spruce pine,
find elephants in the white clouds overhead,
find something funny in every word we said


I’ll never understand the night that changed it all
when they found you in a twisted heap of metal,
among broken bottles and shattered glass,
oh, the things that can happen in a moment’s time
I hope he realized what he did to us
for being so dumb and drinking so much
He lost control, he was a stranger to me,
but he took away the most important part of me

We never got to say our last goodbyes
I can’t say I never imagined how they’d be
I thought I’d be in tears, you’d try to comfort me,
you’d give me one last red rose to keep
I’d hold it against my pretty white dress
and try to smile for you one last time
We’d have a fairytale end; instead you went to rest
in the middle of nowhere in that bloody mess

When I think of all the things that we’ll never do,
get married, see the world, grow old together,
I break down crying, you were my sun and my moon,
you’re all I think about, I built it all up around you
If we could go back now I wouldn’t change a thing
If only we could live it all over again,
walk in the park, kiss in the rain once more,
see the budding flowers and branches reaching skyward

It’s not the same, but some things just never change
I know you’re with me at the start of every day
You get up early to watch the sunrise with me,
see the steel sky redden over glassy sea
Still I can’t hold back the tears and I feel all alone
Now there’s no one to throw a blanket over my shoulders
I’ve got an empty feeling as I shiver in the cold
and now I’m without you, I just can’t make it go

Well, some things just never change
because I think of you every time it rains
I press my face against the window glass
and remember a dream I used to have
I dreamt of standing in a burning house,
all the pictures came crashing down
I saved the one of you and me,
you found me through the flames and you saved me

You saved me





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