What if, just for tonight, we moved quick? Fleet across the page. Held no space and no counsel, but darted tree to tree, out of the glens and into the copse where we cannot be found without the bright light of day. Where we are eyes and eyes alone.
There is a quiet cantina where they play accordion music and pour wine that tastes as if the grapes cried when they were crushed and it hangs so far out over the ocean that even to lean against bar is to court seasickness. For a moment, we are there, bound by nothing but the curiosity about the young barmaid who smiles as she pours the wine of tears. She sways with the waves as though she was born in the water, but walks with a hitch. Was she caught by a fisherman and made to walk after so many years knit together by scales and tails?
I drink the wine and disappear before this mystery is solved.
I lost more weight. This is good. A downward trajectory is reassuring when you are hunting, as though perhaps, you might just fall right into the base of what you’re looking for.
I am thinking about you today. A specific version of a collective noun. A you mask for the generalized syndrome. You are in my thoughts, you-mask, a bit more lately. You lean against my bar, and look out over the ocean as I sway. As I look over the me-mask and think the most earnest, most telling, most heart-rending things. As I grow grateful for these legs that have brought me so high to fall. As I wait for you to disappear from me and for the wine to stop tasting so sweet.
For now, for now, for now, I pour from the carafe and do the most daring thing there is. I do not disappear first. I see how the ocean rears up to let in the light, to churn in the air, and these great shows of watery cape unfurled remind me of your eyes.
Oh, how it feels as though some part of you has the same source as some part of me.
I am learning to believe that this feeling is not meant to stay wrapped in muslin, pressed against my ribcage, fluttering just enough to tell it still bears life. I am learning to believe that if I free it, it won’t take the heart and the spleen and the sweetbreads with it. I am learning to believe we don’t die for loving one another even if only one of us does.
If it went, I would catch another one. Go through the woods, clear the roots in my path, move through the close branches and come upon it. Swallow it down till my whole gorge glowed, till I was full of fireflies. If I let it go, I would let another one burn bright. I wouldn’t have to be dark. I wouldn’t have to find my way by feeling.
I am learning to believe that it doesn’t matter. But, just so I have the story, have another glass. Turn this way. Give me the ocean light, give me the little bug, give me that homesick taste of home.