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.
Love letter # 565
Though I have stood next to you, heard your private words, tended to the wounds you keep hidden, still I remain at the distance of mystery. Still you are the secret kept.
If I have sought to love you, you have been as sand. Impermanent. Shifting at the behest of breath. And whenever I have reached out to you, yours has been the hand withheld. You the boat unmoored, me the traveller lost.
Is this your refusal? I cannot say; for it may be that you do not even hear the plaintive cry. Perhaps I have made a shrine for an angel with averted eyes. Yet, if from your eyrie you look not down upon me, into what sky do you gaze? What vanishing is it you seek that would see me disappear?
Already, it has begun. The slow uncoupling. The incremental shifting of orbit. The quiet cellaring of doubts – earmarked as likely ammunition. Yet I wonder if we might still mend it with kindness.
For not so long ago we were a kind, as though we had reached across the unbridgeable gulf between souls and seen – and felt and known – the fragile light of another. In the nearness of you the briefly flickering flame of being had unveiled the breathtaking paradox of its beauty; and in that mirror we saw. We became. And there we beheld the inexorable river of our unbecoming. And we were like stars, inventing time with fire. Yet even though, in secret unwhispered thoughts, we sensed the broken symmetry, I wonder if we might still mend it with kindness.
I note, beneath the outward signs, the tiny pauses, the gaze turned away. I hear the breath as it catches. Sense the minute evasions that will expand into lies. The first flakes of rust on the sheen. I know, as does the sea, where the scent of rain will end. Because today’s little differences, left to ache, will grow into next year’s war. Words misheard will morph into another language and we will cease to listen; and then we will be strangers once more. No longer a kind.
It’s happening now. Can you tell? Forms of forgetting. Incidental reductions. Habits and edits. The subtle myopia of names. The blurring out of humanity. But is it too late? Are we just actors in a theatre of divide and demise?
The crack may be a hairline today. We could laugh it off. Pretend we haven’t noticed. Or maybe, we might still mend it kindness.
Love letter # 559
This evening, amidst the detectable softening of winter and the sweet aromatic emergence of spring, I felt you on my skin. Or was it your absence that quickened my senses? The vacated space you formerly inhabited, the quiet that once resonated with your proximity. Was the scented air in my nostrils the remnant mist of your tenderness? Did I swoon in such vapours?
One day, I swear, the weight of all this nebulous beauty will surely crush the last breath out of me – so that I can go missing with you. Be similarly hushed. Allow the light to shine right through. For now your love is the long sigh of distance, strung like the horizon at the edges of my awareness. As though, from elsewhere, your absence maps the borders of my presence.
Tonight, my love, I am touched by the hand withdrawn. Kissed by the mouth obscured. Wrapped in the arms of atmosphere. And in the hollow of your departure, a silence – the overwhelming beauty of which I can barely behold without sub-bass tremors shivering through the oceans of my blood, making holy floods out of memory and desire. Melting even melancholy into euphoria. Because you’re not here. Because the softly brushing evening, with its deep, invisible promise, is the flower of your leaving.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Except it’s magnificent.
Love letter # 532
I walked into a fire to be with you – and now I live in the river of indescribable beauty. I tore off the hinges to let you in, so that you might lay ruin to my kingdom. At your golden behest, I reached up to the canopy of heaven, only for it to rain until there was nothing else left. Yet I did not take shelter. Made no effort to swim. Would not pluck the knife from my heart. For the rush of my blood was the swoon of your name. And all the broken pieces…they had fallen from your hands. Yet had I done what everyone told me – what they would do – all I would have is a busted resolve, dried up and mild. Dead inside. Instead of this. Which is a form of euphoria. For which there is no way to thank you, other than to let it flow. And to be swept into the sea.
Love letter # 326
And in a blink, with a quiet inevitability, we find ourselves at the end of summer – these the last balmy nights, the last songs of the season. Soon, we will turn our heads away for a moment and, when we look back, will see that it has gone. Leaves at our feet. Beginning shivers.
I swim into the shimmer of your gaze, the long golden hour of love in its vaulting prime, and, in a blink, suspended autumn, with a barely noticeable creak of the levers, inches into motion. How then shall we walk in this shortening light? What dance might we do in the absence of songs?
Love letter # 328
It happened a couple of days ago. It wasn’t a surprise but it did burst a bubble. Intellectually knowing it is one thing, seeing it so clearly demonstrated is another. Hope and fantasy thrive on denial, on pretending, on maybe maybe – but they cannot be sustained when reality is so unwittingly played out before you.
There is no blame. There will be no name calling. No retro-fitted accusations. The simple fact is that the flame I have been quietly kindling burns in you for another. I saw it your eyes and smile when he arrived. In the way you looked up at him. And in that moment I understood without any possible recourse to fantasy that you did not and will not reserve such eyes for me.
So if I seem a little strange, withdrawn, not so forthcoming – you now know why.