— Inspired by "A Song of Despair" by Pablo Neruda
Nearly three decades have been lost to the wilderness;
why do visions come to me, carved and faded by time?
I remember candlelight in an upstairs room,
a deep silence resonant with the creation of stars.
You trembled as you leaned toward me,
as if it was to be the first kiss our lips would learn to sculpt,
the last our hearts could ever endure.
Earth's crust has shifted a thousand times since,
a bold metronome moving currents of blood,
a surging as deep and tempestuous as uncharted seas.
In an instant, our forgotten wings unfurled around each other;
we did not fear the sun — no, we merged with it,
our souls burning, our laughter buoyant —
we were so tender, so honest, as though birth had just begun,
contractions pushing away years of minutiae,
pulling ancient echoes from shells, gleaming remnants of foreign tides.
Once, eagles and butterflies soared together in splendid fields.
We could not imagine distant evolutions, shadows and profiles so different —
we only sensed a rising of fragrances, gatherings of seeds yet to come.
Now, you lay quietly beneath soil softened and swollen with rain;
my steps are slower, more cautious as I hold onto another's gentle, sturdy hands.
He knows your names, your songs, your rhythms, scars seared by your absence —
he has his own to consider, to soothe as night edges close, weary with mewling.
We do not scorn or scoff at the existence of memories left unspoken,
for we understand loyalties to other lives and loves we knew before now.