She and Him.
He walks home in a hurry. He takes important calls and conversations. His feet move the sidewalks behind and his suit makes a frame, it paints his silhouette. He ignores the cars that carry people and the layers of buildings that pass while he paces. He looks down to choose his letters, he has to push them into place. And they leave him for the rest of the city but they’ll be back, he thinks. And so he builds a world that lives in his pocket and he doesn’t miss what he doesn’t know.
She races but she wanders too. Her shoes are white like summer and she gets lost on her way back. She warms up from the chase, she tip toes around the broken glass she finds. The pieces dust her path across new neighborhoods, they sparkle with the sun. And she stops for photos between the trees. She likes to click so she can remember the sky and the way her skin feels when they mix together. She knows it won’t be like this forever and that’s what keeps her going.
He worries but can hide it. He’s good at covering the cracks that show. He masks them in smiles and strength and he’s busy but on purpose. He makes it up each new day and week. He likes to flee the space he’s in but he will never say so. He takes planes to get away. And he stays until his skin gets darker and the light starts to eclipse the days. He likes to record who he meets and what he sees. He brings parts of them back so everyone can know he’s complete. And he’ll leave and come back for the rest of the season, he’ll run away for as long as he can.
She rides bikes over bridges and through the tunnels that she finds. The pinks of the paints match her fingertips and her legs trust the pedals so they take her to places she’s never seen. She says goodbye to miles and miles, she makes them disappear. She faces the wind, she lets her hair down like she was keeping it a secret. And the strands reach to the skies, they follow her face into every corner of the city. Her striped shirt blends into the buildings until her two wheels carry her back to the beginning. And when she gets home, she can fall asleep so easily. And she doesn’t have to wonder if the day was enough.
He gets stuck in his spot when the rain starts to pour. She gets stuck in hers too. He stands in the street, he stops to look up. She watches the clouds make grays from blues, she has nowhere to be. His hair gets wet, his minutes can wait. Her shoes dip into puddles, her thoughts hold stationary. And then their eyes copy the clouds, they clear into colors. And when the space that was planted between them breaks from the pavements, it finds the murky waters. It washes with the rest. And the streets drift with the river, but the two of them are still. And the less they move, the more they see. And then for a second they can find each other until the clouds come back and the rain begins again.
By Stephanie White
Photo from Shutterstock