UNFINISHED SHORT STORIES

Twilight at the tennis court, heartbeats stuck in the mesh,
this is how I want to remember you. In exaggerated grunts
and lilting laughter, in the scattering half-light you move
like an oil painting finished just moments ago. We’re clowns,
both of us, exaggerating our grunts like the pros on TV do.
I run like a fool, serve you the ball, sprint to return it, sky
darkening until we can’t make out the white lines anymore.

This is how I want to remember you, along with the other
vignettes I carousel between in my head. Like origami cranes
hung from loft bed frames, too much cologne, a single red
rose. My hair stuck in your window fans, turtlenecks in July
because you could never help yourself, how we concealed
our contrabands: boxed chardonnay, what happened behind
the parked tractor, the secrets we’d swap. That one time we
went to that psychedelic poetry exhibit with the rotating
walls that made us hallucinate for hours, how afterward
we lay flat on our backs to trace fake constellations with
our pointer fingers, how we’d always walk home stained
by grass and drunk on the absurd philosophies we’d invent.

This is how I want to remember you, in these short stories
only you know the endings to, but mostly that one night,
at the tennis court, when we were clowns and the lines were
there, fencing us in, holding us close, until they couldn’t.

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