The truth lies between us and the sunset. The sun spills its light over your eyes so that the brown glows yellow, like the candle you keep beside your bed. There’s a mind behind those eyes, a mind that glows brighter and hotter than every candle, and I wish I could understand you. You see something in the way the brittle grass bends, something so secret that I don’t dare ask, and I wonder if it burdens you to know.
Weeping willows would be more poetic, but the only trees around us are maple (and truths blow through their leaves in the wind). Birds float from tree to tree, talking to the wind.
“You speak the language of the birds.” I squint at the sky. “Tell me what you hear.” You close your eyes, lean back on your hands, and tilt your face towards Above.
Yellow quarter notes and windchimes for rests.” It could be nonsense. You are the one that knows, while I am just a body that listens. You could spew artfully crafted lies and I would listen without hesitation. I suppose it’s always nonsense, whether it’s a lie or the truth. Maybe we are doomed to nonsense.
The maple trees stand like stitches, pulling the sky and the ground together, and the sun peeks through a gap in the threading. It dries the grass out more, pushing the blades to scratch against my skin. I sit up and look at you (I always end up looking at you), and discover my own truth amid the millions I can’t reach: If there is such a thing as Something Greater, you’re the proof. You feel me thinking, so you turn and look at me (you always end up looking at me), and you grab my hand with yours. I am cursed to wonder, and you are cursed to know. Your shirt is striped, and mine is plaid. Our skin is soft, and our flesh is cold.
That’s when I see it: the more We learn, the more We don’t understand, and you must be plagued with knowing everything and understanding nothing.
“Why do maple trees grow here?” I whisper.
“We don’t shove crosses in the ground; We plant trees.” It doesn’t make any sense, but it all wraps itself around me―the trees, the birds, the grass―and it all leans on to you.
You, with your striped shirt and brown hair curling just behind your ears (kissing small hoops that shine), you are Earth’s prized cynosure, breathing us all in, and breathing us all out. I don’t know what this means, but I like the way it makes me feel: warm, but not too warm; just enough so that every once in a while I get the chills. I need to leave here if we really are here. Sometimes it seems we aren’t on this earth at all.