Walk with Me – essay and poem

city couple

It was something about the way they moved.

As I sat at the stoplight, wipers swiping away the nighttime mist, I noticed one couple in the crosswalk among the choke of pedestrians—nothing flashy about them; nothing exotic. Both trim, moderately attractive. Him with the first signs of gray flecking his temples. In her heels, she nearly matched his height. You wouldn’t see them on the next Vogue cover. If I’d only seen them captured in a still frame, I wouldn’t have given them another thought.

It was the way they moved—that’s why I looked.

Her arm linked through his almost casually, but there was a sense of knowing–a sense that a subconscious conversation flowed effortlessly between them. It wasn’t the syrupy arm-holding you see from sex-drunk couples, or the static, toneless grasp of numbed partners who’ve spent decades surviving each other.

They walked purposefully with a confidence that spoke to years of teamwork, of going to war together, of time spent digging in each other’s souls and coming away with the treasure of knowing—each safely offering up their naked truth to the other’s intimate embrace.

And in that moment between scarlet and emerald, they found the gaps in traffic, evading the clogged clumps of gawking tourists, and disappeared into the night.

I want real
With you
No saccharine
Glamorous charade
No mummified ages
Spent aimlessly
Roiling
Toiling
Ending up
Nowhere.

Together
Weathering
What life can deal
I don’t care
If the house always wins
Because I’ll take
My chance
With you.
-ijs

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