By Emily Fulcher
The scent of campfire was cold on the wind.
He took a step back from me, the distance speaking memories
that we hadn’t yet discovered. Like his blue picnic blanket
against the wildfire autumn leaves as my hair, brown
and sprawling, tangled between his fingers.
I was always so sure he never would, now he is: changed.
His olive eyes rested hard on me, my face changed
and I focused in on the transparency of my skin against the wind.
I pulled my sweater over scarred arms with fingers
stinging from the same ache that the memories
of his hand in mine, left all over my brown-
stained and bruised heart. I had tried to blanket
his own heart by keeping my shadows inside: a blanket
against the storm, but by the time I realized my mistake, everything had changed.
Silence echoed on for eon seconds as the brown
stubble on his cheeks was rubbed raw red by the somber wind,
nudging, as if to tell him it could carry away the memories,
taking them from his hands if he would just let open his fingers
His hesitation was tangible. If he reached out his fingers
and linked them into mine, I would lose the blanket.
I took a step back from him. The action speaking memories
real to our history that could never be changed-
An afternoon chasing the summer wind
across a beach of fallen and dead brown
pine needles in a once green forest, dried up brown.
That warm day he had woven his fingers
through mine, an attempt at love as the teasing wind
caressed our skin. We had fallen in love on that blue blanket
and then back out of love as the seasons changed.
As the frost came blowing in, I wrapped up the memories,
Labeled them and laid them away. I tried not to think of those memories
as I stood there, my pride at my feet covered in brown
mud, a salty puddle of my own making. We had both changed
that summer afternoon when, together, we’d given in to fingers
roaming across bare skin. A stain on that blue blanket,
and doubts gnawing inside of me. The wind
never felt the same again. Memories of his soft fingers
and the brown hues of the trees, laying on my back on the blanket-
I was changed into a lover of only the wind.