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Stack of Magazines

In the spill of the streetlight

By: David Medina

I saw you in the spill of the streetlight yesterday.

I saw your face, then I saw you. I remembered that face well, the face of my sleepless nights.

You were walking slowly, approaching where I was on the overlook. I was staring deeply into that blueblack water. I’m not sure what it was that made me lift my head, or what it was that forced me to break my mindless musing, but when I lifted my eyes from the dark I saw you there, in the spill of the streetlight.

You weren’t alone. You were on the arms of someone who I thought looked a little like me. The two of you were shifting your gazes from the streetlights to each other’s faces, laughing all the while. I saw this scene playing out before me and then did what you told me not to do on dark nights like these. I started to think of the past.

I thought about our time together in Bogota when everything was bright and beautiful. I remembered our days walking through the Candelaria district, how we drank chicha and aguardiente in the middle of the day, chasing down bitter aftertastes with sweet golden beers. In those days we were just two kids chasing their dreams at the Universidad de los Andes. Me, a Literature major dreaming of becoming the next brilliant author, the next Hemmingway, and you, an aspiring marine biologist who had never seen the blue ocean.

In the spill of that pale street light last night, on that frozen winter night, I saw you kiss the man who I thought looked a little like me. You had to use your tiptoes to reach those lips that seemed to tower above your own. You stumbled a bit, but succeeded in planting your kiss. Your blooming red lips were all I could see in the spill of that dull yellow light. I stood in the darkness watching in silence.

Then you walked right in front of me, and I thought about our trip to Caracas. It was there that you first touched the ocean, your bright eyes and bursting heart filled with that dazzling blue. You ran right into its depths and I tried to stop you, reminding you that you couldn’t swim. But you jumped in anyway and took to the water like a newborn fish. You screamed in delight and I smiled. Under that bright blazing sun on that crowded beach, you were all I could see.

I saw you under the spill of the streetlight yesterday. In the darkness of the night and in the darkness of my mind, I looked down at the ring you gave me and cried. You passed away so long ago now, but I still see you, even in blueblack water or dull yellow lights. In the spill of the streetlight. I see you.

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