on the stepping stones of love;
instead of falling i
catch myself in time
to feel enough
to send me flying.
call me crazy
but i like it;
head spinning in your arms
i see his eyes
and drown in yours.
gentle does it.
heat is in me,
humidity clawing out:
the promise of london rain unspoken.
birds fail to chirp outside your window,
heat stifles life
take up the whole of your bed;
through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.
i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all.
to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.
his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?
i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.
sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.
yes, i remember
the blue sky with no horizon,
the trampled road we trod though
one april morning following another.
and the time was not stopping
but starting anew:
in me and in you,
even in those black eyes and hands
which longed for the other on these marshes.
we feared no ending: it would not come; not to us
who knew of life lived simply,
of lukewarm soup and truth before bedtime.
yes, i remember
and it will be alright.
it’s time for answers. or questions. whichever.
a fellow writer inspired me to think about a few. and they started the clock tick-tocking inside my mind: what did a girl like me want anyhow? what is the dream, the true ideal?
1. i’d like a picture of you on my windowsill by my bed: to keep, to hold, to treasure. it will be my reminder that you exist and when i wake up in the middle of the night, wondering if i dreamt up my whole life, i want it there to touch. it’ll be solid in my hands. a relic. and it’ll be in a mosaic picture-frame we’ve yet to buy. in barcelona or in paris (just because i like the way you say it) or in a magic place far away.
2. i’d like to have you on call, running to me whenever i need you there and sometimes just because. you know: for no reason, just because i want to be in your arms where it’s never lonely.
3. and i want you to have eyes for nobody else but me, following me, stalking me, penetrating me anew with every gaze. i want them to ask me for affirmation of my love every morning and i want them to drown me whole, as if they were not eyes but lagoons of clear-blue water in devon, on hot summer afternoon, when all you want is to immerse yourself whole in water .
4. but more than anything, i’d like to know that this is where you want to be: here with me.
5. that will be all.
to know fear is to have never tasted it, that bitter acrid taste of rotting apples mixed with strong perfume. there is no knowing, only inhalation and dizziness before the lights go on. then, fear subsides.
the aftertaste remains. cologne is rotting. rotting all the same.
and swallowing the cider bile i stop. and start. i stop and start. and i remember that this was rhythm beaten out for me and Y. aeons ago, i would have told him this was our rhythm, that it was made for us. really, the rhythm is mine alone.
it is the heartbeat of a rabbit caught running in circles, breaking out of a different hole every time. only i have no space of time and who knows if i’m late?
there is no knowing here, only white roses being painted red. but i need no paint, truth always comes out in the end.
and this fear reigns over love. it transcends the borders of us and reproduces in our creations. why is that, will you tell me?
it must be us, the charcoal darkening the paper.
it must be orange juice spilt on a linen cloth. or coffee. coffee on those tiles.
still, it’s so nice to be able taste fear once in a million words, wouldn’t you say?