Sunday, May 6, 2012

Love In Reverse


I fall in love with things I cannot have, or with things that are only temporary. Great distances have kept love at bay, as has the swell of life as it rushes in and swallows everything in sight. I've come up for air on the other side of things, looked out across calm waters just in time to see a fin disappear beneath the surface... followed by a ripple, a dark descending shadow, and then... nothing. There's not much to be done at this point except wait. I'll watch the sun as it taunts the children at the playground with intermittent streams of sunshine, I'll listen to tree branches moan as they bend in a steady wind. And in the waning days ahead, I will think about my new lover fighting an old war on the precipice of formatted principles and I'll just... breathe. Slowly in and out again, breath for death on the front line of my mind. This war-torn patch of dirt is full of pock marks and machine-gunned dreams, littered with traces of love just out of reach. On the other side, a general readies his troops while a ram comes down from the mountain. Both have horns and wage a sure-footed war against an invisible enemy that lacks the understanding of what this is all about. Hooves trod heavily in the dirt kicking up dust and debris, raising questions as to why any of us are here at all. Across the still landscape a mother gives birth to child, and in an instant, a baby's first cry is the cease fire we've been waiting for.

Break rank, fall out, this war is dismissed.

Holding these bookmarks that quietly made their way through thousands of pages of solitude, I am reminded of stories that managed to capture the love I cannot have. I've been part of long misadventure, an evening by the fire with General Buck Naked. Stories of baby hearts feeding the need to live forever, of romance shaped like civil unrest. We sit with wine in hand, talk of strategies that might win the love of another. We reminisce during requiem and pour our hearts out like liquor over an open flame. I feel silly sitting, so I stand and salute all the love that's been lost at sea. I am silence. I am a lamb in a lion's den. I am hugged from behind, suddenly. Tears wet my neck as my spine becomes a canal of regret. Finishing my wine I decide it's time to leave. I've discovered no secrets, I'm no closer to the truth, I am still a stranger here.

I used to believe in the idea of forever. I imagined growing old and loving that same smile, those same eyes always. I pictured the porch we would sit on and the yard that resembled a rolling ocean of green. A tree down near the fence line with long, out-stretched branches sweeping low to the ground; the place we chased each other until the sun went down every night. I used to see that tree and smile. I tied a rope and included a knot for every time we said "I love you". There's no room for any more knots. After you went away the idea of forever faded and that tree began to sag. I sat up on the porch and watched it wither. The rope now touches the ground allowing bugs to crawl up. I count them, the bugs, not the knots. They are being mislead, they are on a false flag operation. When they reach the top they will realize the distance they've traveled is twice as long as love itself, and that the only way to go is back down. We all have to back down at some point. We all have to let go, no matter how many knots.

I'm writing this ahead of time. This is my way of telling you how much I love you before the first note is ever played. The band will march on, your music will be the pride of intense encampment and all will be forgotten. A writer will live in solitude, a lover in distress, but these words will march forth like soldiers across the paper of time, and the music you make will carry them forever. And I will love you, forever.

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