I’ll tell you what my first mistake was. It was thinking it could be different. That the iron surrounding my organs was leak proof and unable to rust. The creaky pumping of my veins could be sped up by reasons other than my own. It was talking about books on a playground minutes before creating a new home. The screws must’ve frozen in the holes, slipped out from shrinking and let my muscles free. It was forgetting to wear my watch because I had rendered time irrelevant. The days had become lost in sun and wind and an armored heart became no way to live.
My mistake was resting my head on his shoulder while we softly spoke about music. It was letting the atmospheric and airy sounds flood inside us. I realized how futile it was to try to hold the ocean in my hands. Waves erode through action and patience as the steel inside me dissolved away. A place outside of everything, where the world was what I wanted it to be. Paused under the darkness of other stars, crossed lovers counting seconds but trying to hide between them. Space is a vacuum, there is no sound. How can we understand a star exploding, its gas combusting, trying to get as far apart as it can. It was letting my star supernova walking away from the door.
My mistake was listening to my brother while he tried to explain an infinitesimal amount. It was trying to understand how something could be small enough to be unable to measure. Something that can’t be seen but we know it’s there. It’s a short moment with someone, something, less than an inhale, less than recognition. It was trying to measure a distance that didn’t exist between us. The miles on a map meaning little in poetry. Defining something that can’t be defined, that doesn’t need to be. It was being old enough to understand vibration but too young to know about forever.
My mistake was forgetting how to be afraid. To lie beside someone whose heart slowed and I couldn’t figure out which beat belonged to me. Forgetting that I was visiting, both parts of something that didn’t belong to us. Outsiders by accident. Outer space is silent and that was all the sound I needed. It’s a mistake to think a little is better than nothing. Sometimes nothing is more effective. There are still stars on my skin where he touched me from the days our bones sunk into each other. Anchored to the ocean floor, clanging in slow movement, swaying with the waves.
My mistake was listening. To teachers and physics. How two people touching is more profound than they want us to understand. How star stuff inside us, gas and perfect timing. Or just timing. To be perfect in this moment is too much, a mistake to take away from whatever this is. Or could be. Or isn’t. My mistake was letting it happen anyway.