We stopped by my apartment and put on down coats with hoods,
arguing over who could wear the one to the knees and she won.
I picked up the bag of candles in my dresser - the ones we keep
just in case, and a half-used box of matches that I can never find when I need them,
and are always there when I don't.
She drove too fast.
I sit on the passenger seat and navigate, one eye on the wheel,
my foot pressing down out of habit on sharp turns.
She was always faster than me.
I step out at the lake and move the trespassing sign, my breath leaving circles behind me.
We park and look for wood, the lake reflecting the stars that break my heart,
and a giant white Heron, who watched us with his head cocked to one side.
We ran down the dock towards the water,
balancing the candles on the wood and she struck the matches.
Hand in hand we watched our candles float towards the center of the lake
a lump forming in my throat, tears too frozen to fall.
It felt like the end of something, but the flickering candles tell me otherwise.
Their light penetrated the frozen dark
and she drove home slower,
and we hugged goodbye instead of waving this time.