Love letter # 565

Though I have stood next to you, heard your private words, tended to the wounds you keep hidden, still I remain at the distance of mystery. Still you are the secret kept.

If I have sought to love you, you have been as sand. Impermanent. Shifting at the behest of breath. And whenever I have reached out to you, yours has been the hand withheld. You the boat unmoored, me the traveller lost.

Is this your refusal? I cannot say; for it may be that you do not even hear the plaintive cry. Perhaps I have made a shrine for an angel with averted eyes. Yet, if from your eyrie you look not down upon me, into what sky do you gaze? What vanishing is it you seek that would see me disappear?

Love letter # 421

You know he ignores you, don’t you? I see the way you try to get his attention, or hold it, and he diverts to his phone or gives the minimum response. You smile, your eyes full of tenderness, your lovely form inclined towards him; but he knows he doesn’t have to try. Or thinks he doesn’t. Or simply doesn’t wish to.

Yet, if I am tempted to judge him – which, I confess, I am – I ask myself if he knows something about you that I am blind to. That gorgeous figure of yours, those coquette moves…what do they hide? What is the price of all that visible affection? (Affectation?)

I wonder now what history you share in private. The invisible realities of closeness. Perhaps I will never know; but, watching on, fascinated by you, I am most certainly prepared to find out. To return the gentle, playful intimacy you appear to offer. To take his place.

Love letter # 528

What if I love you too much? What if I lose it?

This is what worries me. It’s not like I haven’t nearly gone mad before. Maybe I want it too keenly for my own good. So much that it threatens to leave everything else in ruins. The glorious wave that, in its inexorable motion, lays waste to the land. The high that crashes into the indignity of desire.

Yet perhaps you like the prospect of danger. Is that why you’re asking? Why your eyes are daring to peel off skin? Such a provocation.

We both have a lot at stake. Self-esteem, reputation, a measure of sanity. This won’t stop at a night of novelty. Or simple convenience. If we cross into the wilds, we must expect the end of comfort.

Are you sure you want this?

Love letter # 699

In you, astonishment. The miracle of the other mirroring self. More than that, making self. You, the architect of me. The space that defines the point. The eternal, coalescing into now. The beauty of the particular, and the awe of the universal. As though I knew you all along. Call and response. As if the you and the I were the one and the two. This, our loving, the helicopter view. The melting and the reforming. The very action of being. The magnificent arc of our unbecoming. An apotheosis. A counter-intuitive divinity of oblivion. Oh you…I am.

Love letter # 422

Yes, I hear them. I know what they’re saying. I can even understand why they say it. But they don’t know. They have mistaken appearance for substance. Their judgement is coded in the beliefs they have about themselves. Their cynic’s wisdom is a cleverly clothed self-loathing. So do not worry, I hear them but do not believe. For you have shown me the beautiful paradox; and together we have discovered that the glory of the song lies between the notes. Our house is not made of walls…but of the space they map. Let them have their landmarks, their names and tags, their tiny, ring-fenced world. We can glimpse the more that isn’t more. The thing that isn’t a thing. The present that is always absent. We can leave it all behind, right now, and have everything in return.

Love letter # 642

You are doubtless wondering why I haven’t made a move on you. Perhaps you think I am not interested, or that I don’t ‘bat for your team’. Neither is true.

The fact is, I have dreamt of your touch for months now. I have imagined all manner of scenarios in which we are lovers. More than that, deeply, richly and fantastically in love. All the usuals; and maybe even a little more.

Now, I realise, you could think me a coward. This may indeed be true. I would call it prudence. Caution. Terror. I look back on the record and see a string of false starts, busted hearts and numerous no’s, and something inside me shivers. It’s like vertigo. Every instinct screaming at me to stop. Self-preservation kicking in big time. I know this means I’m missing out on the chance for something extraordinary – but until now I have been prepared to wear this cost.

Besides which, don’t we already know that this romance thing is hormonal fantasy; that the rom-com model of love everlasting is tissue box bullshit? Why would any sane person seek to measure themselves against such a ridiculous standard?

So, whenever I am awash with you, (which is often), I ask myself this question: what could possibly make this one any different? I have crashed at the altar of this promise so many times that I am effectively apostate. To be a pilgrim once more seems like a ritual of self-punishment. I mean, why would I?

You might say this is simply a well-articulated defence. A form of excuse. I will not deny that both are factoring into my decision to send you this letter. Partly, it is also true that I am hedging, trying to smoke you out. Reduce the gut churn. Save the fingernails.

I know it’s a little sneaky doing it this way; and I apologise for not making my feelings known either earlier or in the grand romantic fashion. But please, understand that even this is like jumping off a cliff for me. Because it could all end right here. Or begin.

Love letter # 446

I try not to look, even though I can; though you make it easy.

Are you unconscious of your beauty or are you aware that the sight of you is unravelling? Is this display of skin and form and flickering gesture an act, a game, or is it simply you? Am I meant to respond, to be nearly out of breath, or is it a trap? Will I be the next sexist – the umpteenth objectifier – or merely an arsonist’s blazing victory? The cinders of a smiling routine. Notch in your belt of suckers.

I ask all this because of the times; because of all the other stuff that gets in the way. And because I’m scared. Terrified this will blow off my hands, reduce me once more to a wreck. Once it was easy to desire – now it is like teetering on an edge. Love and hunger and deep fascination used to come naturally, as from a spring to a river to a welcoming sea. Today they are queered by memory and caution, tangled up in politeness and politics. Now I am paralysed, perhaps crucified – for I have marvelled at your beauty and swooned to the swish of your passing. I have even dreamt. Daringly so.

Yet here now, with these words, my biggest risk. You will read this and, shortly thereafter, I will have my answer. Tomorrow I will see it in your eyes, or worse, in quiet withdrawal. Or you will astound me, and I won’t feel so clamorous and exposed for writing.

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