presence in absence

“Awakening in the silent darkness, something metallic, fly-like thoughts. BBs in a tin bucket. Zinc on the tongue, bitter. Tears dry as dust.

::

Your perfect hand rests easily against the sheet, luminous, perfectly filling that ideal space made for it. Someone has colored it in, without going outside the lines. A wisp of your hair curls out from under the covers, impossibly sad.

::

When we lie close in bed we lie in a pool of warmth. Is it warmth from your body? Is it warmth from my body? Yes.

::

I leave love notes all around the house. They’re on your pillow, in the fridge, in your sock drawer, but you don’t see them. They say I love you. They sayYou can love me without fear.

::

There is a strange woman in the house, hiding in clocks, hiding in cupboards. I hear her moving inside the walls. She is tearing sheets, breaking glasses, tilting pictures. The dry wind fills with a frenzy of chimes. Sunlight slaps the ground with the sound of fingers on flesh.

::

A strange wind blows, chill and sad. It rattles dead leaves, a dry cold wind that dessicates, and its name is Indifference. It says I must protect myself from you, I will not plant my garden this year, I will go, and let the land lay barren.

::

I anticipated the presence of your absence, but I never imagined the absence of your presence. I miss you when you’re sitting across the room. I long for you when you’re sleeping beside me.

::

I leave love notes all around the house, but you’re not here to read them. I pick them up and throw them away before you get home.

::

I could tolerate uncertainty with ease if I only knew for certain we’d be together when the uncertainty was over.

::

I don’t miss you terribly. I hardly know you’re gone. I don’t lie awake in the long dark night, listening for your breathing.

::

All my eggs were in your basket, but I’ve taken them out. Now I’m a psychotic easter bunny, hiding eggs everywhere.

::

I leave love notes all around the house, then I hide, and wait for you to find them. I hear only silence. When I come out my notes are covered with dust. When I try to pick them up, the yellowed paper falls to pieces.

::

We said we’d grow old together. Who else could we sit by the fire with, we said, remembering older fires, remembering. Then finally one of us going first into the endless light, leading the way, breaking trail, and the other staying behind a while, turning out the lights in our final house. That is what we said.

::

You left this photograph for me. You’re holding something in your arms and laughing. I want to be in the picture, just past the edge, to be the one making you laugh. I stare at the picture. It says This is who I am, this is who I am without you.

::

How do I wear memory? Do I hug my memories like an angry bear? Do I hold them as a river its fish? Do I replay old joys like a favorite movie? Perhaps memory is a good pair of shades. Perhaps memory is a raincoat.

::

In autumn the leaves change, become wild with red and orange and yellow. How do they do this? They do it by losing their green. Something goes away, revealing something else that was always there, though unseen.

::

I leave love notes all around the house. Dear You I write. Then I check them. Some begin Dear Me, and others begin Dear God.

::

It’s not a party moon for me, glaring down on urban hijinks or crazy warm meadows. It’s driving this desk through hideous traffic-jams of distractions. It’s wild word riffs for me to dance to, not sweet saxophone butter. It’s lonely staring vigils through strange windows that never look twice into the same littered yard.

::

In dream you ask Are you sleeping with someone? I answer Yes. I’m sleeping with ghosts.

::

There’s been so much weather this must be said again: If you are gone in the winter, I will keep the fire lit for you. If you are gone in the spring, I will plant our garden. If you are gone in the summer, I will wash your car. If you are gone in the fall, I will walk in the woods and write you a poem. If you want me beside you, my bags are packed.

::

I leave love notes all around the house, and they’re all for me.”

Richard Jay Goldstein, from “The Presence Of Your Absence
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s