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.

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