We meet after dark – Jeremy Nathan Marks

         We meet after dark, your car beside mine in a gravel bed off of the river road. The stream is so quiet, far shallower than before when we came upon this place deep in the summer. I move into your front seat, the cassette deck is hissing. I hear the tin whine of old magnetic tape.
         It is New Year’s Eve and the sky will not clear. We are parked below, but yonder from a high bluff of trees; they sit tall but not ancient, giving a voice to the wind. I tell you that I wonder if there will be loud sounds at the turning of the year. Will there be bells? You do not care for it does not matter. Maybe midnight will not come; perhaps it never should.
         This snowless night is damp but involving; I see you in every outline that moves on the river. I watch for moonlight over the shallows knowing how your flaxen hair will catch it first.
         Nearby the road is quiet, so still that I hear you breathe; your sweater fabric meets the sleeve of my jacket. We say so little and I wish how I could hold your hand; but what would this mean? You have been very clear, but I am far from serene.
         You would rightly laugh if I told you how I thought you my platonic better half; this after all is a lie, and not the kind told to deceive. I am self-deceptive. My heart –this heart- dictates an uncouth grammar no part of me even can decipher; I would share it with you but I am timid, my limbs still are private.
         Here, this very night, I feel how your store of wisdom and bodily grace are somehow beyond me, breaching my grasp. And yet, still, there they hover. You move into full view with the late arriving moon, but I cannot cup that lone, fluttering candle. A small flame is hovering over the water; oh, how I wish I knew how to take it in hand, to couch it and hearth it and fan it into love.
         But I have water on my skin; I have opened the car door and let the rain in.


6 thoughts on “We meet after dark – Jeremy Nathan Marks

  1. A bit of prose from Jeremy Nathan Marks, it’s not too late recall New Years that have passed. It’s certainly still cold in the Pacific Northwest.

  2. You know I love this piece, Jeremy, and which sentence just jumps up and shouts “notice me” to me. The whole piece is strong, so strong. You should be proud of this baby of yours, Jeremy–it has teeth.

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