There are days the letter begins like today that make me feel so alive...
those mornings when you walk outside and the world seems to have been washed in one color,
the afternoons when both the sun and the moon make their presence known in your sky,
the nights when you allow your chaos to dissipate like the wispy smoke of a dying candle--when you put not only your body but the rest of you to sleep, even if only for the dreamtime.
but the rest of the page sits blank
Last night, undressing for my bath, I saw the children of my clumsiness. Waiting for the tub to fill, I drew sloppy fins and elaborate, graceful tails...
I watched as the ink lifted from the violet smears across my skin to leave faint trails in the water before it disappeared, then closed my eyes and thought of miracles false and true.
I thought randomly of orphans, doorknobs and thistles.
The thoughts, though, always end up with you...
as children, drinking imaginary tea from plastic cups, discussing our futures, then growing up but never, we swore, apart. Some things, sadly enough, we can not control.
And so here we are. (here i am, wishing you were here)
Always the letters came--from you...
innermost secrets, hopes, dreams, outrage at injustice. These things I kept to myself, instead sending you whimsy with sketches and poems or lyrics in the margins.
The visits were less frequent. There were always excuses, of mutual fault, for why we didn't get together more often. The excuses doubled when it was time to say 'goodbye'--one more glass of wine, one more cigarette, just listen to this first...
Moving again--this time, it's me. I always called you the packrat, storing emotions in things, but here I was, going through drawers and ten years of letters I had tucked away. I saw you, in words, through several relationships, two carwrecks and four moves. I saw the the two year gap in postmarks from when we had lost touch. And when I wondered what you might have of me in words, all I could think of was regurgitation of inserts from my cd collection, stickers and the explanation of an occasional trinket. I never told you about Dallas, about being cut out the back of my Jeep, about who I was or how I changed each year. I never told you how important your letters, your friendship was to me.
That night, I started a letter. We
had not spoken in months. I couldn't
watch you self-destruct and I couldn't help.
You wouldn't let me.
I thought of all the times we'd wondered if we were too much or not enough for this world and there came a day were I felt like I was just enough, that we were both just enough. I had intended to finish that letter, but never did and now, with so much to say, all I have is 'remember when's to fill the rest of the page.
I will remember forever the last time I saw you,
as you stayed on, for just a bit longer just a bit.
Yes, I will remember the last time I saw you smile.
And when I signed 'love, angel'
I wonder if I ever knew you at all.
(i think of her still in reds)