I still think about our wedding.
Do you know the small parts of moments, when everything opens up, the world spins that much slower and people are frozen in time? There were so many of them that day.
This November brings a fifth year removed from then, from our first visit to anyone’s pretty how town*, but I can travel back whenever I wish.
Life takes those split moments away, little by little, draining them through the sieve of our days and nights of work. It’s not something in you that makes this so; I know this is true because I can still find them, lingering in the trace of your lips or with a touch of your face. Your beautiful face.
If not for the years upon years of lonely pursuits, failed unions and all but giving up, would it have been possible to crawl into a poem with you? The dream of our world is in our minds and souls, not on the surface of this spinning blue planet. When my dream ends, so too will the world. And what a better world it is with you in it.
How could I have known of this but for the absence of you for so long? They say we knew of each other years before we knew each other. It’s true; they mean the years spent telling us separately about one another, of their intentions to make a match. I had heard of you, and you of me. And there were times when, unknown to each other, we traveled the same roads to unions of friends, and shared toasts to their lives and loves.
But I had also known of you in a different way. There was a nameless faceless woman haunting my dreams. Dreams of days spent with children and nights filled by the comfort of someone’s arms. Yes, while asleep, I knew you well. I spoke your name and held your gaze. But in the instant of awakening, those details were hastily erased. Only pieces remained.
I’ll tell you a secret. When my anyone met your noone, the earth did not shake. We were no longer children playing at love, and we didn’t need to pry pieces off of each other to fill holes hiding in our fabric. Our first encounter was like the welcome hug of a long lost friend, and recognition began seeping in. By our third, it started to pour, and when, on impulse, I touched your hair, I could hear the rain.
Sun moon stars rain. If god had made a more beautiful day, I could not imagine it. The moments began splintering not long after we arrived. Before the flurry of guests or attendants, I took in the view of a curved ocean filling the horizon below, and like after an atom is split just so, time upended and spilled into oblivion. I was happily lost in the present. No past, no future as guide.
Separated from each other and hidden from the view of our gathered family and friends, we prepared ourselves. I lived a lifetime in an oak-paneled room. Then, as time was called and sequences resumed, we proceeded in numbers down the path to a hill. And as I stood there, under the flowers of our day, waiting for you to come to me one last time, a faint breeze blew across my cheek. When I turned to watch it go, I noticed the frozen faces of those we love. Time was still once more. I filled my lungs with the sweet salty air and my eyes followed the breeze past the trees and over the cliffs, down to the swells rolling in from the deep. Never did I have a moment of fluster; not once was there an occasion of need. And as the sun slipped below the face of the ocean, you appeared.
Our inherited faith has traditions and rituals, some of which we symbolically chose, not in allegiance to a scripture, but as a covenant between humans. Between us. When you began to circle me I became dizzy, spiraling into the whole of that moment. On the seventh turn, you settled into my view. And you’ve been there ever since.
With apologies to E. E. Cummings: