Under Blades of Wings

I remember moments with him and how he made things
that could never feel burst with feelings, like the day
the wind felt angry against my legs, and how it blew
the hem of my dress up around my knees and whipped
at my thighs until my legs were as pink as the petals
of the flowers my mother had sewn onto that dress.
I remember the smile in his eyes and the love
in his smile, and how he chuckled when he hid
his love from me somewhere underneath his breath.
I remember watching in awe as he harnessed the devil
in his thumb and flicked him into submission with nothing
more than a wink and little less than his smirk,
and I remember falling in love with him just a little bit
more as he laughed at the sound that devil made, when he
ricocheted off of brick, and glass, and the disbelief
in the eyes of my first grade teacher, and when he landed
perfectly inside the mouths of the children who played
and squealed like little stuck piglets behind her.
I remember smelling my mother then; her sweat soaked in,
locked inside the buckle he fastened under my chin
and how it felt a little like choking and a lot like home,
and I remember wondering how home could ever smell
so angry when locked was akin to love and love was
as deep as pockets in an old leather jacket.
I remember howling like demons afraid to grace our door
when we rode so hard I could have sworn we grew wings
big enough to beat our fates to heaven, if only the wind could
have stopped pushing at my knees and pulling at my hair,
but angry wind doesn’t know how to pull gently,
and I remember the pain in my cheeks from the ends of my hair
he used to curl gently around his fingers and pull from his palms,
slapping at the bones under my eyes, and I remember not
ever remembering pain like that, like that from stinging bees
drunk on jelly and filled with far too much excitement,
but how it faded quickly when he slowed us down,
just long enough to gather it with his thoughts and tuck
them under the blades of my wings so I could keep them
both safe until the moment when I would grow, and remember
moments with him and how he made things
that could never feel burst with feelings, like the day
we grew wings and harnessed the devil.
I remember all these years later, how six months
and two years from that day, when things without feelings
felt us both, he blew me off, but the wind never could.

© Nicole Lyons 2018

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