Love letter # 409
There is always a certain moment in the changing of the seasons, when the first soft afternoon of spring fills the air with scent and beautiful light, when I am once again the young and hopeful fool who sat beside you in the dappled sunshine. I breathe in and my body remembers the electric shiver of your nearness. I close my eyes and I see you turning your face towards me; and for a moment I am awash and you are the promise of flowers.
Love letter # 345
Sometimes, just the thought of your name tears strips off me. Or a line in a song. The scent of a bloom. A trick of the light. And sometimes just because. Because it was what it was – and you are who you are.
Love letter # 403
In my fantasy this is how it goes: I post this and somehow you read it – and of course you know right away. After all, what else could it be? Who but you? Who but me? Because we were both there when there was nothing else. When the whole of existence seemed to pivot on our touch. When we found ourselves at the centre of everything and the wave we made rippled outwards, washing the whole world with our loving. Or whatever else people chose to call that holy flood.
You could argue that it wasn’t love – you could even say there is no such thing. In the end, it might just be a word. A sound we make when we refer to that particular form of longing, that sense of connection, of seeing the other and being truly visible in return. To a universe without semantic distinction. Or the walls that normally stand between us. From this vantage, it matters not what language we wrap around it – only that it was. That it was forged by us. Made of an electricity that overwhelmed us both. That made us high. Brought us low.
The details of the drama don’t matter either. Time has scrubbed them back to a lustre. Distance has rendered them tiny. But oh my love … how the light still moves every atom in my body. Even when the darkness is pitch. And how the vision remains – its colours like crystal. Yes, I breathe in and you are next to me. I shiver, and it is the buzz of instant recognition. No, not even memory – but presence.
Who knows what kind of fire we started. Perhaps it makes no difference to know one way or the other. Maybe it was the star of our unknowing. A flower opening just beyond our conscious understanding. The benign and terrible mystery of a realm beyond the I. The pulsing, beating signal of our ultimate unbecoming. The great and impassive ocean in which we are all dissolved.
I have no neat answers – no pre-packaged wisdom to declare or meme friendly inspiration to share. All I have to say today is that something has travelled across the years, outlasted disenchantment, survived the erosion of faulty recall, and it has reached me intact. Alive. Sublime. Can you feel it still? Is it there with you too?
Something we create – or encounter – when we love each other as we did does not founder upon the reef of human flaw. For it is standing my hairs on end right now. It is why I am writing this. So that wherever you are and whatever may ail you, you can know without a beat of doubt that the love I helped you conjure from thin air is always there with you. Barely even a thought away. Here. Now.
Love letter # 344
On a short break, lingering at the café I usually go to, and all I can think of is you. The colour of the sky, the edges of chill in the pools of shade, the goldening of leaves. Just like the autumn of our wanting all over again. The promise not quite realised. The moment having passed.
Why did we never walk across that space? How did the gravity between us fail to pull us into collision? What manner of terror kept us from having what we both desired?
I used to shatter awake, bursting out of dreams straight into thoughts of you. I could smell you in the air. In those days you were all around me. That glorious fall of our longing. The very nearly season. The almost hour.
And right now, in this hour – the blue of afternoon so deep and rich, the remains of summer ever paler and cooler – I am in your sway once more. As though you were across from me, smiling that smile of yours; and all I can feel is the tremor of ancient madness. The dammed up distemper of almost touching you.
I drink my black coffee in your honour and look at the empty seat opposite.
Later, I will reflect on this, ask myself why this ghost still hovers. It’s not as though the years have not been filled with other loves, with all kinds of distraction. But I already know the reason. For I have tasted many things, ‘cept the sweetness of your limbs.
Love letter # 329
Facebook told me it was your birthday, so I posted the usual blurb on your Timeline – but
it really said nothing about how seeing your name and remembering you triggered me.
With a thought I was seventeen and seeing you again in the gold autumn light after school. You were so close to me but you may as well have been on the other side of the universe. I was paralysed. Your beauty, my desire – how they conspired to strike me dumb.
I think now about why I never said anything back then. I guess I was so utterly afraid you’d say no. I just couldn’t stand the idea that someone I adored might think nothing of me; or at any rate not enough of me.
The funny thing is I don’t regret it – because even now you are an angel in my estimation. You still hover like the promise of indescribable ecstasy. A girl undiminished by the mundane erosion of relationship. A dream not woken by uglier realities. I can think of you and still hear the bell ring. It vibrates the cells in my body. The memory electric.
I do not know if you ever thought fondly or romantically of me, yet what a treasure you have given me. With your terrifying beauty. With the distance you so perfectly maintained.
Love letter # 318
Looking out over the glassy sheen of the bay earlier – people walking along the shore, the air as soft as it’s been for months – and there you were. In the crack between seasons. Through a window in a wall of time. Winter verging on spring. Afternoon fading into evening. Cool blue light to mellow gold. Love on the fringes of despair.
Has it really been so long?
It was this time of year. You like the promise of flowers. An angel in the pale, warm light. Your eyes like a fire – burning me up. Your kiss like the heavenly flood. Me gone to water.
Tonight, I swear, you are with me. I am inhaling you like incense. My memory electric. Tiny shivers on my forearms. Wondering where you are. Knowing that all this is merely the visitation of an edited ghost – a narcotic trail of heady vapour stripped of all its contradictory detail – but swooning in it anyway. Just like my first sight of you. That moment when we both knew something that no one else had ever dreamed of. When we made the whole world new with our intemperate love.
And now … here it comes. The inevitable night. With its veil of emptiness.