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.
Love letter # 389
It was a just a random thought. Something in the ether had brought you to mind – and then there was a flood, sweet like oblivion, and I was in the trance of remembering. Almost with you once more.
What struck me was how physical it was. It was as though I could sense the gravity of you next to me. Feel the fire in your gaze. Hear the lovely crackle of your smile. Know the warm scent of your arm across my shoulders.
I know it’s all been said before – but still the power of it catches my breath. Still I shiver with the sheer downhill rush of loving you. Still my walls are breached. For a moment I am mad like I was when we were crazy together. Utterly undone by a beauty I could not contain with explanation.
Perhaps it does not matter that we did not make it work – for even if for a solitary season we both knew everything worth knowing. And all the songs were ours. How can I possibly forget, when even a hint of your ghost has me dancing like this again?
Love letter # 509
The memory of you is all the proof I need. We both know it didn’t turn out ideally for us – things in the way, human frailties, etc – but there is one thing I will never forget. The connection we had. That almost magical, mystical recognition. Like a permission to be. Whatever the gritty, besmirching details were, they are but specks on the lens; and in the right light I can see right through them. As I do now. So that instead of regret I walk in the grace of your continuous beauty. For which I can never thank you enough.
Love letter # 336
There was a place in time where the light shone bright and brief for you and I. Today it illuminates our memory. Now we stand looking across the line of our separate lives. Two strands, fluttering near in the chance of a breeze. How much has changed – yet what remains! A thing so pure and unsullied. The very spark itself. Sun still sparkling on the back of a turquoise sea.
The blind, egalitarian river of time is sweeping us downstream, disrupting our private summer with the grit of a common autumn. Yet – next to you – even for this serendipitous minute – the bloom is heady with the scent of promise; which, going unfulfilled, becomes a brand new sweetness in a secluded garden of bittersweet treasures. Where even the years shall not dim its loveliness.