Letter to the random Chinese girl on the 96.

You will never know this – but by the accident of collision you breached the perimeter. Touched me. Gave me a shiver that I was not expecting. That has given me pause.

You will not remember this – but you sat next to me. Your arm against mine, our shoulders brushing, the smell of shampoo in your long black hair, the satin sheen of your stockings, the little curl at the end of your painted lashes. Almost imperceptible breaths.

I could never tell you this in person – but you squashing into the seat next to me not only made an ordinary tram ride memorable but made something else plain. The human warmth of a stranger’s forearm, an inconsequential intersection – yet still the sexiest thing that’s happened to me all year. It is this I took with me when my stop came.

You did not look up. Not even flinch. Just kept stabbing at your phone. WeChat. Instagram. Smiles for the things that meant something to you.

I can still imagine the softness of your mouth – the impossible aching quietness of a sigh. Gentle like those little breaths of yours. These, it’s true, are the chimera I dance with now. Invisible hands. Intangible motions. Whispers not of your uttering. Promises neither made nor unkept. A gorgeous Chinese girl on the 96 – sitting next to me in a pool of spring sunshine.

Whoever you are.

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Love letter # 359

Your beauty surrounds me. The light that shines from you. The intelligence. Your tenderness. The almost blinding loveliness of your laughter. So much so that I can barely speak. And I am compelled to hold my breath, so as not to sigh like honey when you look at me. Then, when I close my eyes, it is you who dances in the velveteen blackness, who fills the realm of imagining with a grace and a splendour that stands every hair on its end. For you are the shiver of my undoing and of my giddy reconstruction. What, I wonder, would happen if you should ever touch me – or if I should ever fall into your arms?

Love letter # 342

You know as well as I do that things are not great between us right now; and I think we both know that pride and vanity have got in the way. Perhaps even ideology. Words we disagree on. Is this not ridiculous? Aren’t there bigger things at stake than our ego and our desire for control?

Let’s please stop this silly war and focus on what it was that brought us together – that made the stars shine and the sound of falling rain into beautiful music. These things are not dead; they’re just buried at the moment.

If you want to bring them into the light once more I will be right there with you. If not … well, I think we both understand where things will go.