I thought of you when I read this quote from “Vinculum: Poems” by Alice Friman –
“Permanent Press When I think of that summer, it opens like a pleat in cloth: lake, tree, out- blooming itself. What deep delicious yardage of suffering: the virginal July we defended, all the while itching willful and goatish. Five hundred larks rising from the fields and all I could do was stare at the scar on your arm— the gold embroidery I longed to touch. What difference that time and pharmacology delivered too late? I loved you then in the old way of longing. Four wars, nine recessions, ten presidents: patches. Each year another July flings her ribboned hat into the ring, another summer trying to duplicate ours. Who were we on that park bench that defies being folded and put away? Forget it. Are you still alive? The rest is gibberish.”
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The sun bares down on you like heat from an oven. Rich earthy dirt aroma fills the air. Thoses white stains on clothes are from the salt of evaporated sweat. Shade would be nice but is hard to find in the fields. You stop your truck in line with the irrigation system just to get sprayed and cool off for a bit. Waves of hot air snake up from the road, even the dirt ones. Evening comes and you catch a breeze. By that time eighty feels cool. You pop open a beer, sit in your swing and wave at your neighbors. The good ones will stop and sit for a spell. Eventually several folks are gathered around. Music starts to be played. Ice chest are gathered and the drinks are freely given. A fire is lit in the pit because sixty is just cold. Stories are told. Hands are held and eventually we all part ways. Tomorrow starts early. Then we will do it again.
I would said I never think of you
Yet as I speak those words
You are still everywhere
Because you are still in me
The air I breathe blonged to us
The sky I see was ours
The place I drove by was where we met
Over there we had our first date
Your mom and dad were home when I passed there place
I saw your brother at lunch
This is the short cut we would take
I kept that shirt for twenty years
We used to talk for hours
Then say nothing for several more
That picture I kept still calms me down
You said I love you first
I was over joyed
I would say I never think of you
When the opposite is true
An empty hand reaches into hollow air. There it lingers. Memories of what once was thoughtless. Soft finger tips tracing mine. Wrist twisting together like snakes in a love dance. The world calmed when our hands met.
Empty eyes search through the nothingness beside me. Once there gleamed eyes which spoke to my soul. I love you poured from them better then any mouth could speak. In them I saw eternity. Children. Grandchildren. Until the day I saw tears. Then they were gone.
My lips speak to the vastness. I love you still flows from them. Landing upon empty ears of a long gone memory. When then your lips spoke love to me in return. Oh to feel them brush against mine.
All is empty now. Hands withered. Eyes diming. Lips silent. All is empty. Except my heart. No. My heart is still full. The same love pounding through me. Forcing you into my dreams where all becomes real again.
My hand reaches into the emptiness where yours is waiting for it.
This is the face of The Traveler. To say it is who I am may be misleading. Defining myself in a singular would be rather difficult. “Me” changes regularly. Each experience, new friend, sunrise and sunset makes me slightly different. Fortunately all the me’s remain readily accessible. Therefore reaching back to find a particular emotion or memory from which to choose and transfer to written word can be done without having to actually be in that current state. However there are times I choose to live in painfully memories for awhile. Maybe this is a form of selfharm minus a cut or burn? Regardless when done and the pain had past the absence of it is blissful. Currently I dwell in the memory of her because it is the most glorious memory. When she was near life floated in an unreal fantasy of amazement. She was everthing then she was gone. Yes later she was in my life again. We had day long conversations. Laughed then cried and asked why. Then she was gone again. There are times when I steal momentary glances into her life. Normally to remind myself how much better her life is now than it would have been with me. Quietly I walk away. Ours paths will cross again one day. Maybe then we can have day long conversations which continue the next day. This being shared because it is who I am. Tomorrow I will continue traveling. Reaching back to find something else. I hope you will come along and in some way I hope as my pain heals yours will too.