You were there during the most important summer of my life, even though I was leaving you in a month you were still there. Gas station wine and plastic Solo cups in hand you suggested Oak Mountain Park. You tossed our phones in the glove box, covered your car’s analog clock and said time is only in our head. I settled my cheek on your chest and tried to count the minutes in heartbeats. Do you remember the time you lost your ring?
Wasn’t it awful!
I don’t know if it was your blood alcohol content or your sloppy dance moves that sent it soaring. You’ll never know. We crawled around like newborn kittens across that park for an hour with grass-stained knees and iPhone’s for flashlights. You found it, held it up in the air and laughed at the luck we’d had—the luck then and the luck of prior months spent trying to show everyone how love’s done. With the earth at my back and the sky in my eyes you scooted over to me and slid the ring onto my dirty hand still palm up as if I were making summer angles. I’m still not sure if the shooting star was real or if my imagination had replaced reality that night. It was our last, but we never said those words out loud. Three Coins was its familiar freezing and I think it helped me forget how much I’d miss you. Scrambled eggs with cheese, wheat toast, and a chocolate chip pancake, I ate slowly for solace not for my stomach’s sake. We took our cold coffee outside to keep our cigarettes company maybe because we’d seen our fathers do it this way, or because of the old ‘caffeine and nicotine’ saying. The balmy night air fogged my glasses and you laughed smoke my way. The dust-covered clock that hung under the awning kept telling us it was time to go. But you just said listen between the tics.