It all becomes so much clearer with a bit of distance. I was too close to see the truth before.
I admired you from afar since I was 11 years old. Your glow, your mysterious beauty, your pull. How my heart gravitated towards you. I dreamed of conquering you and calling you mine. I knew I could never be the first to stick my flag into you, but I didn’t let that dampen my spirits too much.
You were the secret I carried inside my mouth, residing just behind my lips. I would grind my teeth to dust when I felt you trying to spill out. I was the boy that never needed to be told to go to bed. I would run upstairs as soon as the last forkful of dinner had been shoveled in. Switch out the vulgar artificial light bulbs, grab the curtains and pull them back greedily. Rush of blood to the head, pupils dilating as I looked up at you.
I cursed the spherical streetlamps on sticks of wrought iron once a month when they crassly mocked your appearance as you revealed to me the plump fullness of your luminescent splendour. I ran to the hills, threw myself to my knees. Pale skin hitting the rocks that you had failed to illuminate for me. Blood. It felt good to bleed for you.
From my eleventh birthday to my twenty first every day was spent working my way towards you, constructing a ladder to climb towards your magnificence. Those long grey cloudy nights were hard on both of us but they only increased my need to be with you.
Nothing can live up to a teenage boy’s fantasies, but still it felt good to stick my flag inside you, to run my fingertips across your cratered body. It felt right. I put it down to being overwhelmed when I left, sure I’d be back. I lied when I told you I fell back to earth. I snuck away while you were waning. I silently crept through the stars to get back home, and now I can never come back.
I couldn’t keep our secret any longer. Sat in a diner at 6am (I’ve been sleeping through the nights and rising at dawn recently) I would look around and know that they could see it in me, the truckers and nightshift workers having a bite to eat before they fell asleep. Your glow radiating out from inside my ribs, your beauty rubbed off on me and bought back to earth, the light behind my eyes. I have become perfect and phosphorescent. The words came crawling out of my mouth like a spider, “I’ve been to the moon”. They might have thought I was a lunatic if it wasn’t for how obviously true it was.
You’re too intense close up. I can tell you this now, with distance. Too vast, too cold, too lonely. Inhospitable. I could never make a home in you.
It must be hard to hear I’ve moved on, I see you sneaking peeks at me in the middle of the day sometimes. You need to hear this; I have realised what I loved in you was the reflection of your sister’s fiery beauty. I worship her, and for a love like that I am willing to reduce myself to ash.