from across the room.

April 17, 2018
By RoAliha GOLD, Oakland, New Jersey
RoAliha GOLD, Oakland, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 3 comments

we have no time.

my arms find your shoulders and your hands
wrap around my back. we drift closer than should be allowed.
muscle memory.
our bodies remember how to be close.
we don’t talk about it.

you hypnotize anyone who sees you.
when you enter the room people
what they’re doing and
it’s like everyone is a planet and you are the
sun and the whole universe would redirect its orbit
for you.

i want you.
we just dance all through the night.
lights blur and fade out
somehow the dying sun slants through the window on to
your eyes become liquid gold in the light.
the sun seems like it was made to shine on you.
and you look at me like i hung it in the sky.
you twirl me through the rooms, our molecules
fall apart and
fuse together to the tune of the music
meant only for us to hear.
i’ve never danced like this before.
we can’t talk about it.

my chin rests on your shoulder and you press your
face into mine and this, this.
this is the closest i’ve ever come to love.
nothing exists in the world except for this,
and i can’t even enjoy it, because all I can
think about is how the song is going to end
and i can’t even enjoy the way your hand comes
up to cradle my neck because it’s all going to stop.

we part ways and for a second, you
stare at me and
i see stars die and all the pain in the world
manifests itself inside your eyes.

you introduced yourself first.
i offered my name
after a beat.

“have we met?”
you ask it first.
i answer, confidently.
even though we both know we have.
maybe it was in a different life and maybe we weren’t called the same names as we are now,
in this timeline,
but a soul knows a soul.

we arrive at the party ten minutes apart
but we took the same car.
she wraps her arms around you and you press a chaste kiss to her forehead
but your eyes are locked on mine
from across the room.

you laugh at a joke i tell even though you are
fifteen feet away
and i make sure to sit diagonally from you when we
sit down to eat.
just so we could make eye contact,
even if it’s just for a split second.
we shouldn’t talk about it.

we publicly talk for a
socially acceptable
slightly forced
five minutes.
“i love you.”
you tell me, but somewhere between your head and your mouth the words crumble and it comes out as, “hi.”
“more than anything in the universe.” i reply, but it comes out as, “hey.”
she stands by your side and laughs with a friend and sways to the music and pays us no mind.
ships crash onto rocks behind your eyes.

and you make eye contact with me, again-
a long
slightly glinted look that spells despair-
halfway through the night.
inside your eyes oceans crash onto beaches
and a silent thrill runs through me because you
looked at her the way you look at me.
and then we leave the party, ten minutes apart.
even though we leave in the same car.

she tries to stop you but you
are too busy
staring at me, as i walk out the door.
a bitter wave of misery washes over me
because i know,
                          i know,
                                       i know i know i know
that she doesn't deserve this. and neither do i.

but as we sit there, eating two halves of one cupcake
on a bench outside a small bakery somewhere in Brooklyn,
your arm wrapped around me and your lips pressing against mine
every chance you could get,
i’m reminded of what we could be
and i think to myself that maybe it’s the little moments like these
-fleeting as they may be-
that remind me why life is worth living.

i want you.
we dance like we can’t anymore
i’ve never danced like this before.
if only we could talk about it.
for now
it has to be enough just for the privilege of seeing you
from across the room.

she’s been nothing but kind
but she tears you
away from me.

she smiles at you; you smile across the room.
for a split second, her face morphs
into tears
a look of horror
a mouth hung open in betrayal
and i think to myself, she knows.
but then her face is back to normal and i break eye contact with you.
how could she ever know?
we don't talk about it.

the lights of the room are dim
the guests of the party gone,
the dance floor empty and deserted like a
football stadium after the game ends and there is nothing
but the field
and the echoes of the shouts
and the ghosts of the victors
and the shadows of the losers.
but it's only you and i here.

i find our bodies drifting closer than i expected.
they know each other in a way that gets ingrained
in muscles
in bones
in nerves
in atoms
they know how to be close.
if only we could
dance together like this forever.
if only we could talk about it.

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