Life Was One Long Day Spent With You
By: Daniel Talamantes
You snapped the ring of my orbit,
yet were too smart to pick me up or drag me along.
See it’s been hours since you’ve gone and still I’m floating in no direction
tumbling through the free-fall of rapturous blur:
limbs all geometry of limits and calamity—
this creature of city lights.
So this afternoon when you sat across your table as old lovers do
leaving everything wrong and fragile, natal and distant
you served me those keen eyes wrapped in smiles, cryptic thrills, and a dictionary of laughter.
And that wit that could split an atom: I haven’t been so active and engaged in the world
since, I don’t know. Back when we were young, when those colors were violent, sounds hurt the
ears and touch was impossible.
Until today, I never knew the pallet of taste the air could supply
or all the varied scents that taxi in the wind; and what were these new shapes
and colors rising? As if new frequencies born in the fertility of your presence
as if you still bring endlessly, your eternal invention.
I’ve been damaged as of late. These hours moved on so reckless and slow
like an injured thing living in the bottoms, tortured in cement panels and let-down angels
always slugging through paper aisles like a jaded gator in the sewers complacent
staring down a hunter’s gun.
So, it’s been a few hours now since you’ve gone again
and that punishing water of night careens like a phantom through this hollow city
and here I am, I just stand on the corner, abandoned ship, or mental patient,
either feeling the honor and gratitude of adventure and grace
in the numbing quality of light.
And it’s okay now, because I saw it all from the window as you left:
your blond hair speckled across your blue-eyed ocean, that sprite shimmer on the nautical
horizon of your smile there under the down-throws of the clouds thinning in those embattled
winds of our yesterdays. You turning back slowly to wave before turning the corner to
everywhere, back to the perilous world that waits for you, to answer that question I was never
able to answer.
And it was all just another night:
The beautiful life we had together
just another shelved into history
something remembered when I’m old
a picture to paint when I close my eyes.
And sometimes there are days like this evening, this afternoon with you
where I forget there is a difference between yesterday and tomorrow
that tonight or today have any significance at all
that the days and hours we count down have never existed.
These days, like this evening now, I feel okay
because I know there was a whole life together
in one long day spent with you.
I’m a 27-year-old writer and musician from Santa Cruz, California, 2015 graduate of National University of Ireland’s MA Writing Program, and 2012 graduate of University of California at Santa Cruz’s Literature and Creative Writing Program. I currently work as a writer and editor at a Private Investigation Firm and as a contributor to GoodTimes Magazine, Santa Clara Times, and Wall Street International.
An excerpt of my novel "With All Our Faults" can be found in the December 2017 issue of The Write Launch. My short stories and poems have been published in The Galway Review, Tract-Trace, Skylight-47, Elderly, and various others.
“The seed of this poem lays in the fertile soil of meeting old friend/lover during an episode of tortured malaise and ennui. It expresses the rare encounter that somehow shifts your perspective and opens the world around you, however fleeting or potent that may be.
I remember specifically standing there on that city block in what was comparative to a state of shock. Memories and the future coalesced into a synesthetic whirlwind of emotion and sensation. Time was irrelevant. There was significant activity in restaurants around me but I felt inextricably detached from it all because I was completely consumed by the impact of nostalgia, pain, and hope.
The poem represents that unique moment when you recognize there is no turning back. That what is wrong can't be fixed by returning to what happened before. Yet, there is likewise the recognition that this relationship is a reminder of your growth and that the once relationship is a promise of beauty and purpose remains out there. You either appreciate the fact that you were lucky enough to have had it, or move on knowing there is potential for it to occur again.”