Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Reasons for Letting Go

A thousand miles is poor sustenance for a man who can neither travel nor bear more than one sexual partner at a time. These shoes were made for praying!

Or so I say on Sunday afternoon in mid-winter, puttering in the kitchen making chili and writing poems. Chrisoula is sick upstairs, third day running, and the kids lean into playing nurse. If I was unhappy once - which I surely was - I'm not unhappy now. Though not every problem solves itself so neatly.

When we walk, we tend to take Flat Iron Road past the sheep farm down to the river bisecting Route Nine and then up Lilac Street between acres of open field. A familiar landscape allows you to forget certain indiscretions, while the bittersweet entangled in the crest of rotting maples - a red blur because you forgot your glasses - is a reminder you'll never be finished apologizing. The world is a thread sustained by other threads which together we call narrative.

Where the road dips, I take your hand. In one dream, we picnic by my favorite childhood lake which you call a pond, which amuses us no end. I remember her going to her knees the way I approached certain mountains and realizing that no matter what happened next I would always be alone. The radio plays Dylan and somewhere not here it is Spring, or nearly.

Do you remember in Ireland climbing hills between ragged sheep, our own breath ragged because of smoking too many cigarettes, going all the way to the top to get a better glimpse of the Beara peninsula? And you going down on me and later fucking, our cries whipping through the windy mist, and later yet saying "I know you're never coming back?" Thirty years gone and I can still feel your thin shoulder moving under my hand, which had its own reasons for letting go. What is the Welsh word for regret?

What is the best way to forget? Two glasses of whisky argue our bodies will go on walking a long time after what they remember has faded. Starry skies await all of us whose wandering was beset by a secret love we were for whatever reason unable to rise and accept and call our own.

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