Chancie Chou | Art by Michelle Jiang

counting days since spring
when her hazel-gold hair first flew by
and a single violet fell from the drifting silk
my hands softened in the grasp of hers
as she whispered in my ear:
              “you smell of lemon and blossoms”
in a stroke of serendipity,
the hues of our worlds collided
forming a sunset we gazed at in secrecy

counting days since summer
when i chased her braids through rows of cherry trees
and traced blue rivers up her pale arms
then when sun gives way to a coy evening
we’d play hide ‘n seek in a cluttered cottage
just to open the closet doors over and over
              “where do we go from here?”
the weeping willow embraced our two souls in wilting arms
her faint words of eloquence flowed like streams
rushing through all of the world i knew

counting days since autumn
when leaves descended from silhouettes
as they stood against vermilion skies
and we spent our days in seas of red wine and honey
            “promise you won’t ever leave”
in that moment, i swore i saw water line her eyes.
trying to savor the last rays of sunshine,
i drowned in her laughter, and her in mines
sinking deeper and deeper into the marigolds
until we were deaf to the approaching winds

counting days since winter
when clouds formed in front of our faces
and cities worth of stars twinkled desperately in her eyes
as though reaching for the moon
on their last day before burning dead
            “i promise–”
in the blink of an eye,
camellias fade from red to a snowy pink
and our rivers froze as time did
leaving only oceans to mirror our reflections
and their waves to wash over her.

now the spring blossoms bloom once more
yet this time as i gaze across the horizon
           all i see is hazel-gold.
so i keep counting days       one after another
knowing we may never repaint our years again