intermittent rain

How many post cards would I have written and hidden amongst your things if only I had no limits (on time or on sentiment?) Your bags and clothes would be littered with them. Cards in sleeves, pockets, and pants legs.

Endless greetings. We never stopped greeting each other, even at the end, did we?

Two sad figures on a cold park bench, enthralled in silent greetings that mean hello and more, good-bye and more...an ill-defined more that expands and dissipates with the fog. Our greetings are still swirling about the top of the Empire State Building; we must take this as a matter of faith. There on the wet bench we clasped hands the way that the devout finger their medallions, as reassurance of a salvation that can never be assured.
In that pluviose park, with a single bemused worker and packs of passing children as audience, our hands seemed to confidently grasp the present.

With a kind of solemnity those hands enumerated the mundane pleasures of a thousand days we will never have lived together. My fingers drummed a gentle set of ellipses on your left thigh. As if three little points could stretch into a line that would magically lead to a future where those missing days of an unlived past await us.

Such gingerly clasped hands cannot understand any of this. What can they know of how to live as loss. They can only grasp or let go. Never both at the same time. You have taught me this new gesture, my love: you have shown me what it is to grasp and let go at the same time. I cannot claim to be capable of making this gesture on my own. But I like to think that I felt you make it; that your hand effortlessly held something open and closed for both of us, with a kind of tenderness that no string of adjectives can properly capture. The mundane had to bear all the meaning while this gesture opened-closed. Squirrel, tree, pigeon: only concrete things could keep my heart from its marvelous death wish, to be breathed like the mist into your lungs, to burrow into your being.

Our hands grasp and let go. I am a novice at this art and have no desire to become a master. It takes all I have to look away from your blue eyes that greet me over and over...until a full stop comes: the punctuation of a closing door. No question mark holding the future open there. No brutal or ecstatic exclamation point either.

It feels like intermittencies of the heart. I understand why Proust long held this title dear for his novel. I would write you a thousand post cards with nothing but those words for greeting if I could.