The fireflies that we had clasped between our hands,

As we flew through your yard that night wrestle

In my stomach as I think of you leaving

In the morning.

We said nothing as we raced to see who could keep a hold of the most,

And now even if we tried to speak our voices are too far to be recognizable.

All you hold between your hands are my words, glowing dimly,

Nothing like the stars that made their way into our open palms.

Their soft impressions glint between the trees, cleaving

Shy holes in the sky as I see you smile and shriek next to me,

Sharing the world and that moment

Like a dripping ice cream cone.

But the fireflies that had ticked our fingers

Left with you when you took the dusk that they

Had a home in, and they found a new home in me,

Nestling between my organs and

Waking me at night with their prickling chatter.

I have sheltered your fireflies in my stomach,

My nose, my eyes, between my teeth.

You never told me to keep them, but I hold onto yours so I can give them back to you if

We ever find ourselves in your backyard again, and

I only hope that you've clung on to a few of mine.

For all their beauty I can't get over how irritating they are.

When I try to walk, they try to help me fly, which only makes me trip and stumble onto the

Snarling pavement, nothing like the cool waves of grass that I remember.

They tickle my throat when I try to speak, their endless buzzing disrupts

My thoughts.

They are the most obnoxious storytellers.

It's always dark in my stomach, which I suppose is convenient, since we

Learned most of each other's surfaces and depths in the dark, with many miles and

Few lights between us.

I hate to tell you, but your fireflies never sleep, they're always biting away

At me, like nagging children.

But until they can put the lights back into your eyes, tickle your fingers, and

Until I can reach out and our hands find each other, I'll hold onto them

For you, every night watching them flicker like feeble light bulbs between

The crevices in my skin, illuminating all the words I've written and have yet to give to you.

Maybe the next time we let them go, they'll be stars, and they'll hold the sun at bay, so

You don't have to leave.