Line of Sight


I thought I saw you standing over a still form. Twilight blurred the shadows between day and night. I could not see the look in your eyes, only the presumed focus of your gaze based on the angle and direction of your head. Your interest did not appear to waver on my approach, although I was not sure whether you heard my steps. I stood off to your side, just out of your line of sight in the failing light. Your shoulders were slightly slouched. Your breath was slow and even. Even at that range I could not make out what was before you.

Something about your form made me at once want to run up and hold you close, to share the moment explicitly with you; but at the same time I felt like an intruder, that I should slowly back away without drawing notice to my distracting and lumbering self.

The wind splashed through the leaves in the trees high above, sounding like soft ocean waves arriving onshore. Birds talked and squawked, excited as the insects rose around them. A frog might have croaked. The darkness was gradually settling in around us, falling like a blanket on the world. A bat or ungainly small bird flapped above, shuttling across the air with a determined wing.

A gentle movement from you caught my eye and dragged my gaze earthward. You took in a large breath of air and let out a sigh. You rolled your shoulders and shook your body to life. You might have wiped a tear or checked your watch or scratched your forehead. You seemed to peer skyward, momentarily locking in on the first stars and planets to make themselves visible. The moon was nowhere to be found.

You took one last look down at the form before you before taking flight. Your footsteps echoed in the distance as you ran away into the darkness. I stood alone, looking forlornly at the still figure before my feet.