We sat on the same side of the picnic bench, our legs flung around the wrong way so we could lean our elbows against the wooden table. A casual posture, but I was so dizzy from being near you that I had a difficult time looking at you straight, my eyes whirling in their sockets like pinwheels. That Beatles lyric “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” spun through my brain. I wondered if you could see the whirling if you looked hard enough.
You removed your sunglasses and instead squinted into the November sun. I watched your eyes. The insides of your irises are such a dark grey that it appeared to me that your black pupil had stained the light blue as it contracted from the bright light. In fact, I subconsciously thought this to be true for the last four years, the way we accept the small lies our parents tell us when we’re children without ever questioning them. Then, the other day as I found myself squinting into the January sun, I realized that what I had imagined was impossible. Your eyes weren’t stained. It’s just that they’re colored that way.
When we were in love I used to feel as though I was wearing your colors, waving your flag, as we battled our separate days, alone. What a thing to imagine if we’d somehow found a way to battle them together. That was always impossible, of course, would never be possible, a blackness overtaking your colors gradually, constricting every once in a while to reveal a grey so dark I can’t tell if it’s a stain or maybe it was always that way.