We also live
in the space
between the colors,
where there is only silence,
waiting to be seen.
The paint dries so fast.
I sit alone on a faded green couch
looking out the window
through dusty drapes
even though I do not believe
I will see anything.
Hibiscus petals only hold
their water so long,
as lovely and delicate as they are.
Before and after life
waits safely in tubes,
It waits for brushstrokes
with golden sparks
in the emptiness inside.
On a distant planet
blasted by radiation and storm
one thousand lifetimes from now
we meet once again –
two strokes of a brush –
one round and one bright.
Here the hibiscus is sullen and orange
with leaves that are so dark
they are nearly black.
This hibiscus does not really have a name.
There is no one to define, claim, or catalog.
The sky is a mixture of red and ash like cooling lava.
We appear for only a moment on the canvas.
Both having forgotten and remembered
all of the cuts and bruises.
We stand together
and watch the storm approach
as a sun rises over an alien sea.
Hand in hand we wait for it to rip our bodies apart.
We turn to each other
but do not know how to speak.
I remember being old and ashamed.
I forget I was old and ashamed.
This is the place where only the inside matters:
the silence looking back from the emptiness.
Did I know it would be you?
Did you know it would be me?
Now standing here at the end.
Wondering if this is really the first time.
Wondering if being together matters.
Wondering if every time is the same.
Wondering what comes next.
Vanessa is a former chef and lawyer who now teaches English. Vanessa lives in New York with her partner and two cats. She published two books with The March Street Press, and has appeared in magazines such as Contemporary American Voices, Phantaxis, Dreams and Nightmares, Star*Line, and Silver Blade. Vanessa edits the Abramelin Poetry Journal. She has been nominated 3 times for the Pushcart Prize. She enjoys watching cheesy movies, cooking, gardening, and Star Trek!