• Steph Shuff

Golden Hour Gritty

Updated: May 31

I must be the only girl in the world who doesn't like California

with its golden hours and easy weather

and wide smiles, hiding

all the lies


See, I was raised on easy weather and salty breezes

and life happens anyway

pain is a betrayal

set against a backdrop

of cloudless skies and fair weather friends

who won't come out to play when the sun stops shining


Perhaps this is why I'm drawn to New York City

I love the struggle and the grit of it

it doesn't fake it

it just is

as if to say

life is pain

love is fleeting


But you are different

California

this is easy like a sunny day

even the grit in you is fine

garnet, for polishing

(220 and above)


You trace fingers against live edges

leave them wild

chuckle at my constant swearing

wonder at the way darkness is always

just under

the surface of me

lurking

poised for my next victim

(my next victim is always me)


Like all great loves

you teach me

more about myself

than what I knew

before you knew me

past lovers called me willful

(they wanted me afraid)


I can almost taste the smooth dark syrup of your voice

it drips down the center of me

I am sticky in you

You lull me into submission with your sweetness

I am conquered

the way they always wanted me to be


You shape me like a piece of hard wood

it takes patience

you understand why someone like me could

go against the grain

a deep short cut to beautiful

(you know it's worth the pain)


You smooth me

California

grind me

New York City

I take shape for you

this love is both

golden hour

gritty

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