Hellyer Park

by Samantha Lê
There was no moon that midnight, bitter gusts sliced
through winter branches. We were
the only sign of life. Heavy fog lay
across the damp field; creek
water flooded mud banks. We, creatures of the wind,
escaped from the halos
of city lights and hid our naked selves
under the apple tree.

But Timmy was a romantic. Arms stretched
eyes shut, he fell backwards
on the picnic table—splinters dug; clothes tugged;
red mane caught in my grip.
I mounted him the way Napoleon straddled
his horse Désirée—face
thrust skyward, chest puffed with emperor’s pride.
He yielded the same way
Rose apples yield when pressed; I took the first
of Timmy’s everything,
the only first that would always matter more
than all his other firsts.

*   *   *

On a moonless winter night, Timmy took
his life. And though I knew
that love only ends with death in Shakespeare’s tales,
I still remembered how
I knew him when we were only seventeen;
how Timmy touched my core—
his earth-brown eyes that saw me as winter’s
only goodness. Should I
have loved him more? I shouldn’t have left him
in the wind; but like blossoms,
we scattered, lost to the pink at sunrise.

I should’ve warned Timmy then——
our darkest winter nights would never again be
spent giving or taking love.
Samantha Lê is currently working on her MFA at San Jose State University. She enjoys beating her friends at tennis and Scrabble. Currently working on The Mythology of Love, a collection of poetry, Lê is the creative director of e33 design.

© 2010, Samantha Lê