The Last Letter
I’ve been sifting through the relics of a life that’s come and gone. Retracing those last few steps you made; painted pictures in my mind. We lost the time. What’s left? How do I remember?
The coyotes still howl at night but I no longer fear. They’re far (and close) enough away. It’s getting easier to take it all in, and I haven’t forgotten everything that came before. The buzzing in my ears only returns sometimes as a reminder. The smells, the dirty air aren’t too far behind. That is all here, lingering in my shadow self. I’m not alone, even if ultimately that is what we all are. Sometimes the cats come to visit with their half-opened eyes crying for whatever food we can spare. If only I could bring them inside and care for them, but there’s a necessary distance to keep. I’ve discovered a respectful freedom in letting them go. Do they really need me? I think I’m the one who needs them.
We help each other. It’s the most important thing we’ve got. There is always something to do, always something to observe.
My dreams are vivid and clear like a movie. Once we were at an awards banquet but you weren’t there. I kept looking for you. All I remember is how clean the white tablecloth was, and the glimmer of the silver spoon I tried to pick up. It was never meant to be reached, and so often I found myself on the never-ending treadmill one step closer. No more can I run towards distractions.
Because no one is listening, there really is nothing left to say. What I do here is for myself. What we do is for us, passing time in the best way we know how while touching what it means to be. What is happening right now?
I breathe in all this space.
All the pressure continues on. Different forms take on different times. If I could go back, what would you say? It’s not an escape. There was a time when the music was so loud it hurt. When I danced from the heart not caring who was watching. The colors washed over me in sounds. They still do. I’m not sure it was ever perfect except in my mind. Everything remains bittersweet. If I could transfer my joy to you I would. It would be packaged in a glass bubble that’d be hard to break, but your strength can open anything. We don’t have Christmas but we need to create meaning, express feeling.
Down in the basement were magic spells disguised in food and wrapped in plastic. A nourishment of memories fed who I’ve become. As I walk these footsteps I try to think about what I’ve learned but the sun goes down. I feel tired. What time is it? There’s a cool breeze sifting out the damage. It feels good. In the stillness, I hear your tears and see your painful shouts. All we can do to be here now. None of these shadows scare me, even as I feel them following me from behind. This is the way it goes and this is where I need to be right now. Tomorrow we’ll take a walk and clear our heads.
I can only hope we have the chance to try.