With that familiar grin spreading across her lips, I reach out to touch her face like so many times before. In a moment outside of time, I want to be truthful, to show my love in a way that goes against what they think I am. An embrace that denies defeat. A desire to soothe the pain of being so small in a land on the brink of despair. Only the despair inside is more telling, more devastating than thought possible. The air gets so hard to breathe, yet her image stays with me no matter what. The years pass like cars down the freeway, yet her smile still cuts me to pieces every time I close my eyes. All that love, swirling like sand as a storm comes calling from far away. She’s motionless. So perfect like a kiss that never ends. The embrace of two lovers against the emptiness of loss, against the hurt of what was once intimacy, now reduced to mere words. Despite what’s been destroyed, these words will never leave. They’ll never feel betrayed, nor neglected, and they’ll never feel second best. In a field of corn, I see her stood there with such a look of innocence, yet underneath it all, she’s as feisty as they come. Behind the walls of doubt, and all the barricades the adult world made us put up, she’s just a girl picking flowers in her back garden. Just a happy soul wishing only to feel the warmth of being wanted. Is it too much to ask for? Is it unfair to need someone to call your own? I’ve let go far too many times. The love of wanting hearts was there for the taking, yet all I could do was lose myself in what doesn’t exist. I’ve been chasing something I’ll never be able to obtain, and in the process, I’ve lost those that gave me all they had to give. Watching the clouds replace the sun, there’s nothing more that can be done. It’s over, yet why do I fight for what can never return? Why do I persist in the face of absence? There’s only pain that awaits me, yet if I can just glimpse her face, I’ll suffer the consequences. This ritual act, it brings her back to me. It places her in my arms, and even though by morning she’ll be gone, tonight is ours.