Love And Loss
I asked her to name her favorite season,
by Daniel Brick
and she answered, 'Autumn, ' without a pause
for even one thought, question and answer
bumping into each other. Oh, I launched into
a rhapsody on that season of things ripening
or already ripe, so happy that we shared
the same favorite. I was foolishly voluble,
talking too fast our of excitement, and, you know,
nervousness. She had grown deeply silent,
her head bowed, a strand of brown hair
partially covering her face. I brushed it away
very gently, saw her wide green eyes staring
through me. She took my hand and placed it
on her cheek. My voice was quiet but inspired
by her response. I spoke of my love for red-gold
leaves, of the clear blue sky scoured free of clouds,
if the crisp taste of autumn apples, the snap of
cold dawn air, long evenings with friends
with a roaring fire the only light... She looked
straight into my eyes, and added softly, '... And
walking hand in hand along the Mississippi.' The light
that emanated from her and entered me was like a first
kiss held for a time past counting. And joy happened
later, when we two were alone - together....
It was only later, during the wait of winter,
that she admitted she only answered 'Autumn'
because it was the season she least hated. And
she added with peculiar bitterness, 'I hate time,
because it passes, but you l-o-v-e time, you - '
So it went, and so it ended. That spotty conversation
in dim winter light, more my monologue than our speech.
There was already winter in her cold regard, she was
anxious to make an end of hope. 'Hope is stupid, '
she said with vehemence. For an hour we sat in silence.
I held her limp body loosely, and marveled at her
loveliness. Then, without a word, she slipped
out of my grasp, and entered a distance alone. And
the distance soon became an absence, and then a memory,
and then there was only me, with my love of many things.