Stoplights

Updated: Mar 28

The only thing holding in my mind is your face bathed in red, shadows outstanding and emphasizing the curve of your jaw, punctuated by plumped lips.

When the light turns to green, there's something somewhere, maybe a tiny voice, whispering that I need to respond; but instead I'm sinking deeper into the sparkle of light and hope bouncing off of your open brown eyes, gazing up at me.

I'm far too busy memorizing the lines around your almond shaped eyelids, the ones that crease when you grin. There's a glow behind you and I'm shivering, struck wordless at this silhouette- a mess of ringlet curls, drawing imaginary scribbles against the window.

I want to touch, I want to brush, to feel, to process, to understand what I'm learning.

Each time I fixate on your subtle freckles, or notice the tiny dimples around your mouth, my world opens up, intriguing me to understand everything in a new way.


I once despised the color green, the exact shade of the stoplight covering my dashboard now; I would scratch and scrub with soap after even touching it, trying to wash away the fear it symbolized to me;

but this time I drink it in without hesitation and it illuminates your porcelain skin.

The light emphasizes every tiny shadow, every little feature that I grow increasingly infatuated with.

Again, I want to touch- and then I wonder if you will notice my counting; if you'll notice how careful- no- intentional that I am about using all of my fingers evenly when I frame your jaw with my hand.

Will it occur to you that I rub the inside of your wrist precisely five times? Will it be apparent to you that I drag out my declarations of affection, fumbling with the rhythm of my speech, certain to avoid using unsafe phrases and words?

Will you perceive my frantic attempt to shower your nose with enough kisses to make it feel even? When you finally pick up on it, will you celebrate the excess? Will you jump smiling into the extra kisses, the extra words, the extra touches, the extra pulls?

Or will you grow gradually skeptical, analyzing every moment in this inevitably limited time that we have together? Will you admire the way that my speech stutters when I glitch, thoughts catching on a loop? Will you adore the way I permanently press details in my brain, the way that I stamp images into my memory?

Or will you eventually grow exhausted, disturbed by the desperation smeared across my face when I'm adjusting things again and again? Will you become exasperated, listening to the songs skip repeatedly until I find the safe one?

Maybe, eventually you'll become disgusted with my fragility; overwhelmed with the anxiety that I carry around in my hands, erratic and jumpy.

It's possible that, soon, you could see my alarm bells, flags the very same shade of red that blankets your face in the passenger seat.

Until then, I'll use my thumb to trace the line from the tiny curl at the nape of your neck to your ear, to your lip. I'll allow my thoughts to race through all of the different versions of art that you can become. I'll ignore all of the mistakes, the unsafe numbers, the uneven endings, the wrong words, the risks that linger in the car with us, thickening the air that we breathe in. I'll enjoy the color green for the first time in a very long time.



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Quirk

Quirk