Love letter # 88

Last night it rained like sorrow. Today the air is thick, every drenched flower sweet with scent. I move through the humid light and – wouldn’t you know it – all I see is you. I carry you in my thoughts like a half remembered song and I find that I still move in time.

You are out there somewhere – but also still here. Not so much a ghost as a deliverance. When I love you the whole world is transformed – the ordinary magnificent – the simple exquisite. Everything soaked in wonder.

Last night it rained like sorrow. Today it glistens like beauty.

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Love letter # 196

You are like the connectedness of things – the invisible strings – the wideness of plains and the coolness of air – time stretched out like a ribbon of stars. I walk in your aura. I listen to your awesome quietness. Your breathing makes my heart beat.

I am the blessed one – loving you like this. It lets me be the oneness of things; lets your river run through me. And you are never more than falling sky away. No further than tides. When I feel like this there is no space between us, no time apart.

I remind myself of this when I am alone – when I am questioning – and all the knots dissolve and a kind of music plays. And whenever I hear that song, you are here beside me and I am like love itself. Radiating.

Love letter # 165

Remember when you said, it’s okay, I can put it away? Except you didn’t – and we kissed – then did it all and more besides. Every rule we ever made for ourselves, strewn like shirts torn from torsos. Left on the floor with everything else.

We knew we were gonna pay – and we did. Me stripped bare – you scared to death. You’re on a plane now, flying to anywhere, and I’m stalking old streets, jogging with the ghosts of old adventure.

So easy to say it was foolish – to wish it off the record – but no, I’ll not. This scar was made by beauty, this skin made new by hunger. I could scarcely have imagined a better legacy. Wherever you are, know that I am thankful. Your love and, later, your retreat, showed me the way to surrender and, later, to a strength that continues to amaze.

Never put it away, my love. Always let it flow.

The Woman I Am Not Supposed To Know

I sleep, so as not think about you. Like running into shadows, escaping the eye above, doing anything, anything, anything to get away. All manner of distraction, every denial you could imagine, keeping secrets from myself so that they do not spill out in front of you. Every kind of logic. Because, because, because, …

Because it cannot be, can it, my love? So much in the way, all that baggage, all those excuses, so much fear and habit and not knowing if this is what it is. You can’t. Won’t. Never promised me a thing.

I should take this raiment of silk I would drape around your shoulders and tear it to shreds. If I was any of kind of man I would walk away, drift away, quietly, nobly, almost imperceptibly from the woman I am not supposed to know. She would not even know I had gone, her life would go on, and I would just … get better.

I don’t know what you see, my love. You can guess, I’m sure. How can you not notice the blood? How can you not tell that it is hard for me to breath around you? But you have warned me, I know it. You have your life. You might not like it but you’re not about to change. Not now. Not for me. Not for the dream of another us.

Only in idle fantasy will I kiss you. Only there … such blinding tenderness.

So I’m drinking. Killing, killing. Tearing up this sudden flurry of flowers. Smoking. Drowning. Scratching around for the kill switch, severing all the threads I can. All because … because I know it’s right. It’s wrong, unquestionably wrong, and no amount of loving will ever change that.

You believe in stars. I do not – but still the planets never aligned for you and me. That first smile, that light in a room full of darkness, those obvious signs, they mean nothing if they run parallel. We walk alongside eachother but our hands, though outstretched, cannot puncture the divide.

You knew this right away, didn’t you? So much more real than me.

I have this unpragmatic love, like a burn. You have such beautiful hands, such alabaster skin, such imploring, imprisoned eyes. I sit across from you, swallowing, playing the game to feed on atoms of you. I try to think of a way to speak that will not make you get up and leave. I search for a miracle in the breaks between breaths. But no. A polite half hour and you kiss my cheek as you always do.

I stay awake, so as not to dream of you. I cower in a world that’s real, bandaging myself with platitudes, wounded, bleeding to set you free, hoping I will turn a corner one day and not see you there.

This is me getting up from the table, looking at you, closing my eyes on you. One last photograph. A final outline. Oh Lord – please burn it into me, let me come to know her at last, this woman I am not supposed to know.

Love letter # 152

Time having passed, things are clearer. You were running – from ghosts, from anything that reminded you – and I was the dumb bind holding you back. The more I loved you, the more you fought for what you took to be freedom. But now I understand – the freedom not to see is still freedom.

We are fools to judge others by our own private measure. If I took your evasiveness as a slight, that was my issue. Yours was just plain terror. You tried to hide it – but you wore it in your posture, drowned it in your drinking, scattered it on your faithless adventures.

On those nights when I never knew where you were – when the phone rang out again and again – I sat home bleeding. But that was self pity. I am ashamed of it now.

I tried to argue you into loving me and in so doing I trampled over the love you were offering. I did not do this out of greed; I did it out of fear. I was the anchor too feeble to hold the ship in place – a simple change of tide was enough to wrest you away – and I knew this all along.

Yet none of this washes away your constant dishonesty – your capricious toying – but I wasn’t in love with that part of you. I loved the original beauty – the very you that the lies were designed to protect.

I am lucky to have seen that light in your eyes, to have heard sweet yielding in your sighs. I remember when you took my hand unbidden, when your head rested on my chest, when your kiss was like a tear – so impossibly soft. As long as I have memory I shall have those treasures.

You should not think I am wallowing though. I am not. I have a new life now. This is not my way of reeling you back in – it’s me saying: go, be free, run as far and as long as you like. If indeed you have enough energy to go forever, do so – and I will cheer you to the line … beautiful athlete.

Love letter # 113

There is an impossible distance and it sits inside me, the vast unfilled quiet between my breastbone and my spine, the echoing chasm, the unimaginable miles. You are out there somewhere, in that enormous other. I can walk for hours in the dark and still get nowhere near you; and every sound, however small, reverberates in the encompassing silence. I am just a dot now – a speck in the sky – and in that cold forever somewhere …

In the night I pray for sleep, hoping not to wake. The days are too long and I am almost crushed by the hours.

Every now and then I get distracted but I remember with an awful crash; and the horizon draws its circle around me. I keep waiting to get used to it – but in your horrible nowhere you are everywhere. I never knew that absence could be so complete, presence so hollowed out.

I do little things, one after another, by rote mainly – a sequence of somethings to paper over nothing.

How did I come to love you so much that I was left with this? You weren’t perfect. You annoyed me sometimes. How petty those quibbles now seem.

And now even they lie across the uncrossable ocean – further every day, as even memory falls apart. It kills me that I can no longer properly recall your eyes – or the way you laughed. Time is stealing you in tiny lots. One day … only my hunger will remain.

Perhaps even then I will still love you.