Monday, January 24, 2011

Dear Sebastian. A letter of loss and love.

image is from here
Dear Sebastian,

I know this should never see the light of day. It, like much of what should be barely whispered between us, is meant only for the night. This letter, like anything uttered close to the ear, is also only for eyes that see beyond life as it is cast wretchedly into the harsh glare of whiteness.

You are a seeker of night vision. This is what drew me to you, in part. Also your beauty, if I may be so shallow as to say so. But beauty is always more than skin deep. Your skin, pale as melting snow--and nearly as cold, nonetheless pulsed warm blood as red as any other.

Your aesthetics and your values are what set you apart. Also your intellect which cloaked a heart as tender as it was reclusive. Your artistic soul--I'd say 'brilliant' if it weren't so overused to describe white men--combined with your physical beauty made you irresistible to me. Or, rather, made wanting you irresistible. The wanting was the thing I seemed to have fallen in love with, as you left me before I could really know whether or not I was in love with you. You were off in a hurry, a mad flurry of panic, flying into the arms of a woman to whom you will likely tell nothing at all that is barely spoken, broken by volume and torn apart only by the softest touch.

We could not be truly honest face to face--at least not about our deepest feelings for one another. And so we did not touch. For, in touch, all would have been known in a rush of trembling apprehension, a torrent of feeling fused to knowledge neither one of us was willing to bear or birth.

So our love was and remains still born, from womb to tomb with no passage through life. And it lay between us like a lost letter, yellowed envelope, never delivered, but sent with every intention of being received.

Reception requires a lot, I realise now. To attempt, in good faith, to take in the wholeness of a person is to admit another can never be possessed. And so the act of loving is, perpetually, perennially, the act of letting go. You and I spoke to each other all those days most vulnerably in the silences between our words. I read your face like one of your poems, with about as little comprehension. But I knew at least one poem was to me. That gave me reason enough to keep trying to discern meaning. But I tend to want too much from meaning. I want certainty like a rich man wants gold or a stage actor seeks applause: enough is never enough and inevitably the greedy and the desperate are left broke and alone.

To receive you was always to open my hand and welcome your flight. And you've flown. Away. Yet despite knowing you are no personal homing pigeon nor dove of peace you came back, but not to me.

Sebastian, I want you here--my lips murmuring in your ear, our bodies within reach--for a moment or a lifetime I cannot say. I want to touch you to know if our love is real and to see if, against all men's laws of nature, it can be brought presently to life.

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