Monday, December 12, 2005

Truth is Always Measured in Memory

A vignette

The sun is a watery shade of gray, a mixture of slate and reflected light, as if mirroring rain. The sheets are thick and scratchy, smelling of old mothballs, of dreams. He is curled to one side, quiet, his body curved in a catlike position. He reminds me of a panther, ready to strike. I am in an old shirt of his, sitting to one side, knowing that I am both transgressor and lover. Perhaps this is the first and the last morning that I will wake up beside him.

I want to memorize the contours of his face, the way the leaves of the tree flicker and wave against the window, the haphazard arrangement of pillows and covers against one side of the bed. He smells of sweat and the evening, his eyes closed in prayer. He has beautiful eyes: large and dark, framed with thick lashes that curl against his cheeks, inviting to be kissed.

He frightens me, this man, with his realness. He is a presence that cannot be ignored by mere absence. The minutes tick by slowly, the weight of each second an infinitesimal drop of water hovering above a proverbial pond. He refuses to open his eyes. His hand is warm and heavy in my hand.

If I were to preserve this moment in my mind, each line would be drawn in charcoal, black strokes against the grain of paper. He would be reduced to a shape, a thick dark form that hovers in the periphery of my memory. I want to touch his lips, his hair, his body. He is a fish darting through my mind, each scale carved out of marble, a heavy weight transcending words, sinking into depths that I cannot follow.

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