07 April 2014

subway windows are haunted by faces

text and photography: katie beth

Dearest Hillary.

We slept until we were rested, ate until we were full, and walked quietly down the street, tossing words into each others' palms as they blazed ahead, comfortable at their faster pace.

The air was washed clean by the rain and thoroughly scrubbed. Bright reds and deep oranges and crystal blue and grey shone from the buildings, sharp and pure. That day I felt so strongly the joy of having you standing right beside me, blood pumping through your body.

Onto the J from the K to Chambers to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. You walked it for me and I thought you wanted to be anywhere else until we reached the other side and you were sitting in the pleather red booth smiling, my scarf still wrapped around your neck just where I wanted it, the green far more beautiful next to your flushed fresh cheeks.


And oh the wind and sharp burning in our knuckles--familiar to me and harsh to you. I knew I could breath out there on the bridge where the wind would shove oxygen down my throat even when I couldn't open my lungs wide enough.

I never drew the bridge. It was full in my face and wonderful cold. Instead I watched you and the wires and ran my fingertips along the frozen rough granite of the arches. 

I can still feel it there under my hands. I can still see your hair wrapped around your neck by the wind and I would rather that than a drawing. 

And oh look at the familiar signs, sweet friend, of our for-this-moment home coming towards us and oh the joy that shot through me when you smiled there on the subway platform, looking side to side afraid that you would be caught happy. So different next to the pain that had settled over you, the pain I felt and tried to eat but then it only grew. The cigarettes you hated but loved because it was something to do. A glass-strewn barrier for you; a desperation I knew needn't be, but which I didn't know how to replace.  In that booth I saw the same face that flared up in the match light, both your eyes alive, penciled in under your eyebrows.

I tried to capture the sunset after I captured you. It was so empty and ugly in comparison that I deleted all the photos.

1 comment :

Jade said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog, thanks for sharing your adventures!

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