What we left in the sand

I tried to sync our breathing on the dunes
As the sky split and you shone amber apricot,
But the climb left us both gasping
In our own private oceans.

I tried to find where the creases
Of your eyes ended
And the gentle contours of sand began
As you laid your head back against my chest.

I stroked your cheek and pulled
Your gaze away from that
Bright bubbling rainbow-seized disk
Just for a moment
To rub our red tingling noses together.

I know you despised me for trying
And failing
To put words to this moment,
Mumbling some faint reply
That felt more like an obligation.

I rolled down and the earth began to oscillate
And I couldn’t find you for a second;
You seemed to be anywhere else
But under my gaze.

You marched down, caught somewhere
Between astronaut and primordial desert dromadaire
In that camouflaged wool,
Bringing forth great plumes of dust and creation with every unearthed footstep,
Saying “Maybe they left without us.”
They hadn’t, of course,

But I understood.

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