Love Notes

There is a moment between the light of an explosion and the sound it wears. A hole that opens up and pulls the heart down after it.

He waits here for her next breath. Beyond prayer, newly afflicted with belief. He is waiting for God to give her back.

Between the light and the sound, the horizon tears free of the seam. Where there was once curve and gravity to bind, there is now only a hungry edge, over which he falls.

He breaks into Heaven to claim her. He knows no hunger. He knows no thirst. He just follows the sound of her voice. If Love is the opposite of Death, then what is the worth of Life Everlasting? What price eternity? He passes through Heaven on foot.

* * * * *

She was unintended in Heaven. An accident waiting to happen. An incidental mistress. Never a child. Born completely of desire. God named her what she rang for inside Him. He called her, Want. She made Heaven a home. God was uncertain what Want was made of and therefore handled her more. He wanted to make more like her.

Want came and went as she pleased, returning unexpectedly. God would wake to her jumping up and down on His bed telling Him human stories, breathlessly.

Each jump another knot come undone until she wore nothing but wings. She would reach out her hand and God would fall into her until morning. He would wake to Want sleeping beside Him. Her arms and legs flung out from her body.

When God shook the blanket, when God snapped the sheets to cover her again, there would be feathers. Feathers that came loose from the bedding but refused to let go of flight. Feathers that never touched the ground and belonged to no one. They would rustle against the window panes on the nights she did not come to Him. They would rustle against the glass until He let them out and into the night.

How breathless, she would be. Endless in her capacity to redefine what God meant by Beauty. He began to put things in the world for her to find.

She liked to sit at the edge of Heaven, legs dangling, swinging her feet. Watching the world go by. Always looking.

One day, Want spied the man she felt she was created for. She went to God and told Him that she'd found the man she belonged to. Told God she couldn't feel the touch of anyone else anymore, even Him,

"andthenandthenandthen," breathlessly.

God made the man who would undo Him. He made him for Want. A Love Note special delivery. Want broke the heart of God, by loving what He gave her more than God had ever intended. God answered no prayers the rest of that day. And Heaven was never the same.

* * * * *

He breaks into Heaven to claim her. The road is long and littered with objects thrown overboard by low-flying angels and immigrants on their way to the Big Rock Candy Mountain. There is no one to speak to, so he talks to God. And asks how she is.

God could make the road go on forever. He could swallow him into the belly of the world. He could erase his memory. He could break him down to elemental compounds and turn him into a bear scratching its back on a tree. He could do any of these things. Instead He answers only that she is waiting for him.

* * * * *

Want sits on the edge of Heaven, pulling out her feathers. She sings an endless harmony that no one can keep up with. Every note, every phrase, unfinished. She sings only half the music, in a key no one can reach. She sings the same question over and over, tearing the notes down to the quick.

The feathers do not fall. They circle her like wasps awaiting direction. Later, when God opens his bedroom drapes, the feathers have gathered against the panes. Like frost or ill-fated snow. God opens the windows and the feathers press into the room. They form the shape of her wings and draw closed around Him. It isn't all that's left of Want's embrace, but it feels that way to God.

At the edge of Heaven, Want sings the same question over and over.

Only one man follows the sound.

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