All posts by Paul Ransom

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.

Love letter # 492

How did I know I would find you? I did not. I merely walked. I did not call out in expectation of your response; I simply raised my voice. I did not sing for the beauty of your dance, but for the liberty of music. This house was not made as a temple, neither as a cell; only as a home. I have not loved thee for thy touch, for my love is as the rainfall, that a desert may know flowers. Nor shall thy name be carved, for a name is too small, a stone too stone. For you shall not be sought, only given. There is no toil worthy of you, for you are not a prize. Therefore, I shall not seek to know you, for I know already what I can, that you shall not be known. And here is where my love shall dwell.

Love letter # 438

I came into being with your song in my soul. I walked so as to trace your footsteps. I spoke so as to know your voice. I am naked, such that I might feel your skin. I breath to have you inside me. I weep, in order that I might drink from your well. And I shall soon sleep…that I may be returned to you.

Love letter # 544

So…this is what’s left. Words. Not even ink. Nor the slenderness of paper. Simply the flicker of pixels. Intangible, electric remnants. The shifting mystery of memory. A vague impression of scars.

Once…a passion that seemed like eternity. Touch, warmth, knowing. Promises whispered, fulfilled in the cry of desire. Our beautiful island. A whole life imagined.

Now…figment still. The vaulting imagination of loss. The erasure of detail. Smoothed to bare fact. Devolving to imponderables. Did it? Were we? What are these traces?

You…then so much a part of me. A story now, reduced to letters. Me…the ghostly chronicler. Gatherer of fragments, sender of encrypted code. Us…through the telescope of our distance. Speck of starshine. The pale, receding light of ancient fire. That time in this time. Beam of history. Faintest of all our kisses. A quiver on the skin of our passing. Yet still.