Its draws you, the white, the still, the night. And you follow it, follow it outside, down the street, past cozy little houses that bellow pine smoke from their chimneys and cars that trug down the road. Stop at a little bench to breathe it in, watch it swirl before the yellow street lamps. The longer you sit there, the quieter the world gets as a blanket settles across the houses and around the street corners. It envelops the city and soon you too. You become a statue, lost in the white. You are mother nature herself, watching her work unfold before your eyes. Drifts settle in the hollows of your collar bones, the folds of your coat, on top of your eye lashes making the world sparkle when you blink. You can feel yourself getting colder, your body becoming part of the night. You fade. Your breath no longer hangs like a cloud in the air. Perhaps you have stopped breathing entirely. You have become a part of the playground in front of you, just a sculpture carved in white against the night. Nothing has disturbed you, nothing will disturb you. It is like the world has stopped, no movement but the snowflakes that dance in front of your eyes and fill in your tracks until no one can tell that a person even walked your direction. It tucks itself around your body, soft as a blanket, tiny flakes of down that pillow your head. Winter’s bed calls you to sleep. But sleep you must not. You try to pull yourself away, your body has become part of the snow. You are a living snowman rising from the drifts. Limbs are slow to respond, feet uncertain on the ground. Winter laps at your mind. Stumble through the door to home, snow still clinging to your jacket. Climb the stairs to your apartment, feel the ice melt from your limbs. Your breath is loud and rusty from disuse. You are melting, water dripping off your nose and rolling down your boots. With each step you become more human, winter finally relinquishing its hold on you. By the time you make it home, you are just water and ragged breaths. Your clothes leave a trail from the door to you bed, to blankets not made of ice or pillows of snow. Curled in your bed you are fully human, pink and raw and warm. And to your bed, you surrender.
These mornings are the dangerous ones. Caught in a limbo, these dead hours when none are awake but myself. The world outside clings to my sweater, the cold leaking into my lungs and between my fingers. Dangers are all around me but I do not recognize them. These mornings break down my defenses, the cold threads from my lungs into my veins. I try to build up my walls, stop these thoughts from swirling around, forget them for awhile longer, only to have them crumble at my feet. These moments are dangerous, I can feel it in the tremble of my breath. My skin doesn’t feel like my own at these times, I’m just playing a game and losing. My eyes are restless, my mind, my body. I should just go sleep, melt the ice from my veins, soften the tremble of my breath. Wake to the sun, forget my thoughts, keep moving on. But I know that it is only temporary. These mornings are the dangerous ones.
What if clouds and lakes switched spots and every time you looked up you’d see waves being pulled by the moon and we’d wade through the clouds on a hot day. What if birds grew grass and the ground grew feathers. What if flowers were as tall as trees and trees as small as flowers.
Picking summer strawberries so ripe they melt in your mouth, sweet little nothings at the tip of my fingers. Tart little cherries that burst on the tongue, hanging like bright rubies from a tree so old it leans and groans under the weight of it’s precious jewels. Sink my feet into the black earth, feel it burn under my soles and tickle between my toes. Grass stains on my knees that leave a tingle long after I have moved. The wind dances through my hair and the sun warms my shoulders, summer’s kiss so sweet it leaves me dizzy.
In French, you don’t really say “I miss you.” You say “tu me manques,” which is closer to “you are missing from me.”
I love that. “You are missing from me.” You are a part of me, you are essential to my being. You are like a limb, or an organ, or blood. I cannot function without you.
It’s the same in German. “Du fehlst mir.” You are missing to/from me. You are absent from me. A spot where you should be, but are not.
ambedo n. a kind of melacholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life
Your frail, bird wing shoulders, the porcelain slip of your skin, the delicate bones that keep you grounded. Everything about yourself that you hate but I love. The softness of your stomach, the strength of your heart, the contrast of your tiny freckles. My sparrow, my dove, my everything, some day you will fly free from your body; I just ask that I may hold it one last time before you escape.
The expanse of your skin
The valley’s of your body
I lean down for a kiss
And felt the earth rise below me
Don’t worry love, it will all be ok
I’m here now so don’t fade away
For I will love you, each new day
And forever in your heart I will stay