American Pharoah won the triple crown. I cried for blue green grass I thought I’d see with your palm against mine. For the first gust of air through the open window as we pass over the state line and your face turned out against the country side, summer air, fall, winter, spring air, year after year. The mile markers and radio stations I’d memorize. Your fingers intertwined in mine, stolen kisses at stoplights after miles and miles and years and years, still.
I can’t imagine fall without you. After a hot, sweaty summer, with office air conditioners, us curled into each other under my fan, an almost-ocean breeze coming through your bedroom window, walking in the wet sand where the beach meets the ocean each morning, condensation dripping off our ice coffees as we walk by block parties in my neighborhood, even after losing every moment of this summer, I cannot imagine fall without you. The flicker of the television screen against the dim light of the basement, me propped up against you, your hand in my lap, each play rundown, each touchdown, every word I write on my dissertation, chili cooking in the crockpot upstairs. The train rides into the city together, afternoon coffee between meetings, falling into your arms on a dark Brooklyn corner after teaching — you waited, the train ride home together, hand in hand. Friday night high school football games with hot chocolate. Saturday night city lights with whiskey and wine. After the loss of this summer comes the loss of this fall the loss of this winter the loss of next spring, next summer, next fall, winter, spring, summer…
Promotions, birthdays, high school graduations, and college graduations — a cupcake, a cake, streamers, balloons, cheers, and hugs, celebrations of accomplishments and love, always love. Hospital visits, emergency midnight drives south, nursing home arrangements, first broken hearts, make it better, make it stop, we will, we will, we will together, side by side.
My toes cracking each morning, the always misplaced sunglasses, the constant reminder to go to bed, the too much coffee and always dwindling sugar supply, half-eaten meals, the messy hair and two attempts to get my clothing on the right way, the terrible navigation assistance, the need to get everywhere too early, the back-up plan for the back-up plan, yours, the tiniest parts of me, without grandiose declarations, yours, always yours.
American Pharoah won the triple crown and I cried.