It is hard, looking back, to recall just how many hours I spent searching with a fair amount of diligence for just the right song to express my love. Most often I would find it, but only after that love had been replaced by another, demanding a new song — you cannot use the same song for two different loves, that crosses well over into tacky. I have to admit I’ve given up totally on that quest, even as the number of available songs has grown exponentially, or so the various streaming services suggest. I have only a single lover now, have for twenty years, and as her hearing has slipped away it is her lips that read mine, and that is all the song we need.
Only in a French movie does a girl stand on a bridge threatening to jump or not and weave a story that so draws us in that by the end, when the couple is together, she now pulling him from the same brink we almost forget that the movie was in a language neither of us speak.
The Good news about rom-coms is that Hollywood (and occasionally Paris, Lisbon and Madrid, but never Berlin) crank them out endlessly, and each contains that grain or two of truth, like salt rubbed in the wound of a failed first marriage, and the balm of the discovery of true and abiding love. The small pail of rom-com truths is easily carried, sometimes off a too strong wind, but it is never enough to build a dune to hold back the waves of emotion that attend the most fragile and passionate of all human relationships. Yet we sit, smile, and watch hoping that this one’s grain is the one that tips the scale ever so slowly in our favor.
He said, “I’m looking forward to heaven for a reason you cannot begin to imagine, and, not that I want to rush my arrival.” She said, “It’s rather audacious to assume you’ll end up there, I place the odds as at best at 50-50 and I’m being generous because I’m still in love with you.” “But you’ll never guess the reason so I’ll just have to tell you. You know how much I love rich buttery sauces, the more butter and ] heavy cream the better? In heaven I can have all I want without worry about cholesterol and arteriosclerosis and that would certainly be heaven to me.” “You realize,” she replied, “that there’s a better than even chance that God as creator of everything might just be a vegetarian, like we all were in the garden, so Just in case, eat your Brussels sprouts.”
a winter night clouds digest the moon cars drive turning lights out disappearing neon signs stare beckoning vacancy open space super condensed matter she moans I love you to starched sheets shrouds wrap her loins a cat scampers into a bush dragging the sun melting the highway electrons run crashing into nothing quantum leaps
First appeared in Erothanatos, Vol. 3, No. 3, July 2019 at Pg. 43
Tomorrow I will lie to him will tell him when he asks, at least the first ten times he he does, that she is doing fine, that she is a tough old bird, that she’ll outlive us all, that she’s a Taurus, the bull and he will remember the end of their marriage, the Battle Royal that was the war of divorce, and he will smile a bit, and say, “I miss her,” and I will agree with him. I do miss her a bit, but even two and a half years of death have not grown the size of my missing appreciably. We will move on to other topics, will circle back and rerun the tape for with him every day is a series of scenes from Groundhog Day, but in his world, it never snows.
I would reach out in touch you but as it is my fingers barely reach the keyboard. I would take your picture the next time I see you, but it would appear instantly, no waiting for someone to tell me as you were merely a blurred image appearing days later pulled from an envelope. Perhaps I’ll leave a posting on your digital wall and simply hope you are still alive somewhere just out of reach.
He sits, suited in black, with 88 keys at his command, and we fall silent. He opens the lock of joy, the lock of sadness, the lock of elation, the lock of tears, the lock of laughter, the lock of darkness, the lock of light, the lock of surprise, the lock of compassion, the lock of love, and we peer through each door, unable to enter fairly unable to turn away. As we walk out, we know we have tasted Buddha’s promised truth and we go off in search 63,999 remaining Dharma doors.
You want to yell at him, tell him to stop, that it is too soon, that he is not ready, cannot be, won’t be for months to come, but you know he will not listen to you standing, gesticulating, imagining a stone in your hand, shattering the glass walls, the crackling gaining his full attention causing him to realize what is so very obvious to you. But you cannot do so, wishes aside, there are no stones to be found within the house in which you stand and if there were, there still are very clear rules against your throwing one.