Now that I have said good bye, I dream of you more and more. And is it the you you really are or the idealized you of our childhood and early romance? I think the latter, for in the saying of our good byes and in the living with our good byes, don’t our dreams come back to soothe us, tattered coats to stay the chill? In my new house already old with all I’ve brought with me from past lives, all I’ve received from you to add to what’s gone, the walls, the ceilings, the fixtures shed their grief like soft downy snow, the dust of our flesh, what has been but what is no longer, this dust it falls in outlines on the floor, marking faint impressions of our bodies.
Your eyes are what I remember, their soft brown, the memory of what they were to me in my girlhood and how they looked at me when I was a woman and what I saw there and wanted to see, and the face as well that has seen struggle and loss and hardship, and the hands, known to me since you were young, the fingers, beautiful and long, now worn from work in sun and rain and cold.
I love you and will always no matter what the reason for this impassable divide. I never thought, as a girl, as a young woman anything could divide romantic love, sever it neatly. That was when oceanic feelings still engulfed me and I and my lover were inseparable and he thought what I thought and he loved as I loved, in equal measure, with identical expression, with obedience to the same rules.
I became a child again with you. I indulged the little child once more and that innocence and belief revealed themselves this final time before I turned to walk the road alone in my flat shoes on the path that is soil, that which I will one day become.
The moment I said goodbye, I lay down, exhausted, and slept. I dreamed you were opening a front door for me. I dreamed we were going into someone’s home, maybe our own home, to eat ice cream and pie. We laughed because we were going to eat butter pecan ice cream with our pecan pie. So many pecans we said. The door was heavy, wooden, carved, the foyer a dark, carved wood. I write this and know it would have been the very thing you would have loved, that foyer, that wood, that carving. I write this because isn’t it the sweetest torture there is to be released from someone while at the same time loving them most deeply in their best self, mourning what was, before there was dust. I write this remembering how many times, in our flesh, we spoke of ice cream.