Love letter # 494

Of course I think about touching. You must know this already. I try to hide it, but desire has a way of showing through. I see your eyes searching me, prising apart my fragile reserve. Questioning my eroding resolve.

Yet, I am duly confined to my role as watcher. Admirer. My love shall barely breath its name. This is why I avert my eyes. Why I leave early. Refuse invitation. For I know that speaking is the door to exile.

I note your scars; and I know that to reach out is to risk their bleeding. Then, I will be the monster. The one who reduces everything to sex, to blunt feeding. And you will flee. And I, newly reviled, shall fall even further from your grace.

Sometimes the truest act of love is not to act. If this is the torch I must carry, I shall walk into the nocturnal quiet. There, the bright beam shall be the absence of my gaze. The vanished devotional. Now, in the emptied auditorium of hunger, transient spectres will fade to hushed resolution, and only the silence will have eyes for you.

Love letter # 563

Even now, you reveal me to myself. As though, across time and distance, your voice in the form of echoes, magic in the guise of miasma.

I came out of the meeting late, dusk settling. Walked along the street of our past. The places we drank. Kissed. Fought. The short cuts we took back to your room. The same, yet not. You and I ten years older, everyone else ten years younger. Looking at their phones. Flashes of you in their gestures. Their laughter. The taut sheen of complexion. Unknowing actors, approximating you.

In the heady whirl, I felt both your presence and your absence. The taste of you and the dryness of thirst. Your warm gravity…and the light years. I loved you, ardent and new; and yet it was as though you never were. That I did not even dream you. Figment of figment.

Then, as I turned the corner, I saw. No closure, no final getting over. Wound as fresh as farewell, haemorrhage relentless. All I have learned is how not to notice the blood.

Now I am home. Bleeding, eyes averted. The spectacle of memory over. The theatre of loss vacated. Only the canvas of silence. Only the space to fill. And, as I breath, love without its object, wave without the crash. You without me.

 

Love letter # 437

It is hard to admit, let alone say, but yes, I do ponder the possibility of us. What’s more, we have kissed behind my eyes. In my thoughts I have heard you say clearly what I have been reading between the lines. In fantasy we have danced. And today, waking from the dream of you, the silence draws me on, as though the pressure of hinting had forced this longing into sound. Now it has formed like rainfall. Now it is falling toward you. Soon it will be weather. Do you venture out…or do you stay inside?

Love letter # 558

Perhaps if we had not felt the immensity, we too would have sought the surety of anchors. Reduced ourselves to the bareness of names. Huddled beneath the aegis of myth. Knelt in the cathedral of tribes. Yet it was the land that we loved, not the king who laid claim. The fragile rhythm of hearts, not badges on bullish chests.

They wanted words – catechisms – when we could only make sound. They built rooms, yet ours was a house without walls. They looked to us to see themselves confirmed, yet we saw the form of the formless. In place of a hollow empire, we had the empty sublime. The light that is not a light. The eye that is the absence of seeing.

They pleaded with us to know, but we knew already that there was nothing to know. When they urged us to remain, we had long since flown. Betrayal, they cried – fearing judgement – yet we had glimpsed the mercy of silence. And in that compassion, which is an ocean, all the moorings shall be washed away, and none shall have need of islands.

Now we shall swim until we drown – for even as we drown, we shall not be broken apart. Because there is no apart. Not when you have sensed the vastness…and seen the maps dissolve.

For the anniversary of stars

A glance at the screen, a date in the corner; and just like that: thirty years. The gap between waking and dreaming. A space hollowed of promises. The tender hook, still fast. Timeless.

Remember how it rained that afternoon. How the evening was soft; lambent as the rings changed hands and the waterfall sang nearby. Honey in the afterglow. The whole world was ours…except it wasn’t. Yet, what matter that we knew so little when we had it all? For even in the dryness of hindsight, the desert remains in flower. I give thanks at the gate of its immensity.

I wonder – who were those lovely figments, can they really have been us? A mattress on the floor, milk crates for chairs, the part-time wages of young belief. Four walls and forever. The sanctuary of twin desire.

Now, in the unimagined future, the banality of distance. Wounds grown over. Fissures cleansed by time. The neat separation of adults from the bloodied whorl of sweethearts. We wipe the dust from the memory of temples, that we may regard them as rooms. Everything still in place – transfigured. How beautiful is the landscape of eternal stillness and ceaseless journey?

That we may have nothing more of our troth than reminders has not put out the stars. I see them in the blackness and they are my compass. May they guide you likewise. And in another thirty years let us look upon these cool, faraway fires and see aglow the still wondrous light that once sparked in the gaze of lovers.

Love letter # 493

It’s true. I watch them passing. Firm, young, glorious. Svelte bodies, lustrous skin. Strong and lithe and full of fire. Acme of desire. Fleeting angels in our midst. Not stopping to notice us.

I look but do not follow. Burn, yet remain. Dream it all – in the space of their transit – yet wake to the stillness of watching. Here. Now. With you.

For they shall vanish, and time shall do to them as it has to us – yet I shall turn to catch your eye and know again the beauty that does not melt away. Because my love is not a passer-by. It is the shine that is sustained.

So now the parade is over, the outward looking eye has closed – and in the dark respite, you shall flower back to light. Such that I may be guided, entranced anew, to take this journey by your side.

Love letter # 713

You were a white blonde child; now you’re honey brown. You were a lissome youth; now your lightness takes a different form. I cannot hold you as you were – except in the trap of memory – for you are not the angel of yore, you are the fractured and complex beauty of now.

If I should love only ghosts, I should do so alone. Were I to hold a flame that only perfect skin may know as warmth, then cold be the room in which I stand. For you are not who you were, nor who I conjure in the fantasy of recollection – because I can hear you breathe, touch the one you have become. It is you who rests besides me, who will wake in my dawn and shine through my day. It is you. After all. You now.

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