MIDNIGHT HOURS

When I was a little girl,

back in the days when I slept all the way through the night

I thought that at 12 o’clock

the world went completely pitch black

 

Like you were blind, like you couldn’t see,

like nothing existed except for darkness

 

Of course, as I grew older,

I discovered that the midnight hours are

the only time when the world

marries itself to the rest of your senses

 

At fifteen I stayed awake on the phone until one in the morning,

twisting the curly cord around my fingers

until it wound all over my body

leaving desperate red welts on my skin

In the sunlight they looked like bruises,

but when I lay in my bed

all I could feel were soft lips tracing the trails

of all the secret places I wanted to go

Everything made sense

in those dark and golden hours

when my breathing slowed and my voice grew raspy

as I inhaled his jasmine-scented words

 

During those months spent

living off of that heady floral aroma

it was like I found a part of myself

but lost another,

 

Like I was blind, like I couldn’t see

like nothing existed except for darkness

and at the same time, I could feel

the warmth of his skin against mine

more intensely than I would

if I could look into his deep brown eyes

 

My sight came back for a few colorful years

though I missed the intoxication

of his voice and his body, missed

getting high off of his tongue and breath,

missed winding myself around

the tired ticking of the clock

and moving to the rhythm of

the music from dreams I did not have

 

You made me blind once more

when we crashed together on a summer wind

and everything made sense

in our dark and golden hours

 

But when I look back, I remember

how lost I felt when the clock struck twelve

And the fact is, though you knew my eyes had failed,

I always walked to the train station by myself