It was the kind of night
you’d think you could find love in your back pocket.
The stars glowed beyond the acres of forest and
the cloak of an Oklahoma night, thick and inky.
The halo of a lantern kept us from being strangers.
The dilapidated barn hiding in the woods
kept us from forgetting our place.
Five of us
sipped sangria and drank in
the sounds of the woods.
Somehow, we felt protected,
even though we knew the coyotes were
watching us through the brush.
“Do you remember Bill Collins?”, he asked our host.
He had a smile that was incandescent and infectious.
“Yeah,” she answered, “we had history together.”
He glanced past her shoulder to the panes of light
illuminated from the house, “He’s changed since then.”
He quietly said, almost to himself.
“His signature is a rubber stamp.”
I could see the sprawling barn in the distance.
It was just close enough to see,
even in the darkness,
how time had worn it down.
I wouldn’t know until the sun rose the next morning,
how hauntingly beautiful it looked from the inside
as the light streamed through the dusty windows,
still leaving dark corners;
the type you want to explore.
And for a moment
I was homesick for an I Love You.