How often it rains in gardens where no heart can grow, or how frequent the sun burns crimson against ruffled bed sheets, I cannot tell. My hands have never felt the earth, nor my skin the tease that the breeze ferries from wherever it blows first and last. I am inside you, a memory you do not wish to speak, and that is enough.
In the ordinary course of life, even its travesties, you will possess me as much as I will possess you. But the bond that will cuff us will be nothing more and nothing less than what it is: mere possession, not of ownership, nor servitude, far detached from the sentimental region of nostalgia. Ours shall be ensconced in the seat of dormancy, neither alive nor completely dead, just there, stillborn on the edge of a chasm, suspended between every possibility, as uncertain as a maybe in the cusps of a yes and a no. It will be our territory, and we will guard it against ourselves.
You will live and I will live, together in our separate ways, yet divided by the same unity that will make you find nothing in the flesh that will caress you, but I to find the warmth of human touch in that emptiness splayed like hands on your shoulders. You will mistake the stars for tears cushioned throughout a black carpet. I will be feigned into thinking that the laughter that you bare in front of silly rhetoric you have sourced from the innocence of your conscience. And in the error of our small ways, we will justify our failure to see the forest for the trees, because we shall be resolute in professing our injunction to discover colors and tastes and scents and music and textures where there are none.
As you tuck yourself beneath the sheets in drunken stupor, you will imagine the children you wish you had, conjure their nascent arms and legs from the womb of your mind, call them fancy names as they frolic from the veranda to the open garden of a house built on top of a canyon as grand and as imposing as the dream that will cradle you to the early hours of dawn. As you retire into that invisible dominion, I will thrive in your silence, dwell in it like a marshal guarding our conjugal sojourn from the perpetual threat of hostile nightmares, for I, witness to your ineluctable departures from the wakeful world, I also dream your dreams. As yours is the air that I breathe, the wounds that I nurse, and the unspoken promise that I take with me wherever you go, I carry on.
There will come a time when the petals of bougainvilleas will bloom redder than nature intended them to be; when the mist will lift itself to welcome the birth of a gentle summer; and when sparrows will trill and turn airborne between the field of amber grain and the stretch of azure sky. The wind will kiss your cheeks, soften your hair into a billion threads of black silk, and embrace you with tender affection the way only lovers would. By and by these little tokens of the season will fulfill what I cannot offer yet in my exile: a presence unperturbed, a temporal shift to signify that things have their own place and pace under the sun.
But one day, when the tulips have folded and dried like the wrinkles around your eyes, when the ashes have turned to the pigment of the hair that you wear for a crown, I will find my way to your pale lips, and as gentle as a whisper, as consoling as the whiff of your breath, you will, at last, dignify your solitude the only way that it can now be done:
with a sigh,
and with it the sudden weightlessness of your body, your fingers to reach into the sunset before you, holding seizing sculpting the fading and shapeless light into a portrait, I to give it the face you barely remember.
So please, forget me not.