We Were Then

That silver flame

subdued all color 

into black and white.

Remembering neon paint

and black light nights.

I recall the photos,

your specialty, the old way,

wet work in the darkroom.

We sat sweating to pounding sounds,

any kind of shoes winning out

over slippers and bare feet.

That scent stayed on my hands

long after the pictures developed.

It only cost a dollar or two.

You were a light so brilliant

even black turned to gray before you;

almost everything shone white,

and those Friday and Saturday nights

flew by as weekends would

for the rest of our lives

until an unimaginable retirement

not even expected

down the long and winding road.

Even all the in-between leaned

the way of pure light you brought.

Sometimes we’d recognize each other.

You flickered there, but never lost.

Our hearts skipped beats

and the hard bass lines hit home.

I’m not now.

I burned down on those dark nights

and can remember only

my distinct joy, my desire.

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