Susanna XII, A Prose Poem

I wonder why, after all this time has passed, I still find the need to write of you. Your voice has faded and your face has dimmed into an outline, but when I concentrate, I see you clearly though for less than the blink of an eye. Not long after we parted and I returned to my own land, I walked past an orange grove and I thought you had come to me, the fragrance of the orange blossoms was so strong, as strong as the ones you wore in your hair when we danced cheek to cheek on the Plaça Reial to the music of the street performers, our last night together.

When I return to the Maine woods to refresh my soul each year I take you with me when I walk the dry, dusty, unpaved roads and it reminds me of the dry, dusty, unpaved roads we walked all those times we left the city and went into the Spanish countryside around Barcelona. Hand in hand we walked and I thought…

…what did I think…. I hoped it would not end, that was my thought. When the heart is full and the mind is full and when it feels like the one you love has climbed inside you, a cloud envelops you, a cloud filled with a lightness of heart yet at the same time a heart heavy with the fullness of love. When we loved, my eyes sometimes burned with almost-tears because I loved you so much and you loved me so much and it spilled over because my heart could not contain it. Your laugh nearly broke my heart with its song.

Your smile, with its curious twist on one side, was the first thing I noticed about you after the stillness in your black hair, after the laughter behind your green eyes, the blazing white of your nearly translucent skin, the long, slender fingers, and after the soft hands clasped before you as you leaned across the bar, after the wonder in your gaze.

I knew it the moment our eyes met and you did too. My heart somersaulted, my vision dimmed, my legs shook and I would have stumbled had I stood at that moment I was so dizzy with what passed between us.

But now I don’t hear your voice and the words that tumbled like the song of a stream over smooth-worn stones. I can just make out your face in the spirit-filled cloud that still holds on to that corner of my mind. I remember your touch but its warmth has long faded though my heart remembers it too. You told me when we parted that love’s memories endure and they have. You are always with me, my shadow, an outline, a weightless spirit, and heavy still.

I love you, Susanna
I love you, William

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