Friday, November 7, 2008

the skull and its defender

Ran into your father today.

It made me think about all those memories ago when you were the stranger nestled in my shoulder. They all said, “If I were you, I wouldn’t trust him” but I did anyway. You pierced through bone and marrow and shot shivers down my spine. I’d like to think I did the same to you. I often imagined that when our blue eyes met and harmonized it brought a smile to God’s face. But I was young, and spent the rest of the time staring at my ankles. And you got scared or maybe bored, stopped reciting all that sappy prose you thought I’d find romantic. Still, I fantasized about our children. If I got chilly in dreamland, you were always there to extend some make-believe body heat.

“Daughter, you’ll grow thin on these backwards glances and restless grins,” the vicar said with true affect. “A love poem is the same as a death ballad, you’ll kill yourself from deep within.”

I agreed, and promised to kick the habit. Except nostalgia was a harder drug than I expected, and I found no rehabilitation center that would cure me. This little bird named The Recollection of You flew into my mind's eye and made quite the nest. All my better qualities infiltrated the area with bow and quiver to try and kill the creature but he remained. That is to say, you remain. After all these changing seasons, and slow weeks that turn to years, there are still shadows of you that send my heart into a bittersweet palpation without proper warning.

The grey clouds migrate in the same direction, as if they were a flock of Beluga whales caught in the sky. They move on. Time continues. The young grow old, and the old pass away. Yet I am stuck in a moment that never ends. The only thing that reassures me of my own existence is the sweet inhale and exhale of breath.

Your father told me to stop by and say hello sometime, but I don’t think I’ll be able to bring myself to. I would hate for you to find me so unchanged, and so in remembrance.

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