sometimes I drive down the alleyways you used to show me in your sleep, I hear your phantom laugh at jokes already made and I hear you point out the shimmering stars that flicker above us. I want to follow you, but you always rush ahead of me, your stride a choreography of eloquence, the way you maneuver on the rubbery dirt with the fluidity of wind, your arms outstretched, your delicate fingers open, your body dancing with your elegant gallop. Your long hair flows gracefully in the warm, summer breeze, swirling around the curves of your face and dipping into the steep of your cheekbones. we lay under the oak tree we used to sing ourselves to sleep under, we find violets and roses and bedeck ourselves in crowns of ephemeral jewels. you’re always bounding, leaping, even if not physically, twisting in the air in a captivating spiral, leaving me breathless with your beautiful magnificence. no matter the intimacy in our fabricated world, your apparition avoids me, slipping from my touch, ebbing through my fingers like grasped water and forgotten dreams. when the sun is scooped into the air and your silhouette fades you always tell me you’ll come back, that I’ll see you again, but why do I always come back to your empty forest?