Ashes and Embers (or “Why don’t we run?”)
There was a glitch, somewhere in the system. Broken codes and broken words. We were torn and thrown down. Just bare now, raw and naked and confused.
Our bloodshot eyes matched the burn down of the Nashville sunset. Stoned out and staring hopeless and bewildered at the southern sky.
She had asked me to go. Then asked me to stay.
Whiplash and uncertainty settled in. Shading the balcony with comfort and dread and fear.
We weren't the villains here, I thought. But, we weren't exactly the heroes either.
She picked aimlessly at the strings of an old ass Gibson as I tried to roll a joint. The sounds of the city were familiar and foreign all at once. The unanchored traffic beneath us, distant horns and distant sirens stirred into the velvet tones of her guitar and the coarse softness of her Appalachian tongue.
I needed to go and wanted to stay. I tried to detach, to disassociate, to turn down the volume of my mind. Too many thoughts of Decisions and deceit. I was lost out there beyond the sunset. Trapped Somewhere between her hazel eyes and home fires burning...I'd checked out.
There were Virginia nights and dank ass weed and visions of Kentucky summers and streetlights and sneaking sidewalk kisses beneath their iridescent glow.
She was beside me before I'd known. With her arms lashed around my waist and her head against my chest. I dropped my guard and leaned into her hold. "Why don't we run," she said, whispery and quick. Her words drifted off into the Nashville noise.
And we both stood in silence, acknowledging the cowardice and fear between us.
Worlds were folding in, imploding around us. Those home fires we had stoked with gunpowder words and gasoline lines...they were burning down now.
Nothing but dying embers and ash.
We'd made little effort to revive them, I thought.
Maybe we lacked the drive to save ourselves...to save ourselves from the approaching days. Our pasts were closing in around us. You could feel the end drawing near. Clingy and thick. Everything we had known, everything we had loved, disappearing into the smoke, deep and black and cleansing.
We'd fucked that night...on the balcony, where just hours before he'd held her. And we knew, even then, that our ecstacy would be their demise.