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There are moments in my mind’s eye when I see us. I see him turned away from me, his left shoulder jutting from the sheets like a ridgeline, the nape of his neck and his muscled back. His arms are lost to me. Unbidden, the image of us surfaces. My entire body stills itself in the face of it and I think: I had not been prepared for that, the possibility of coldness, or its dark remove. And I think: A woman too long unheld becomes silence, becomes plane and angle and  hollows. She becomes the distance herself, the color blue when it is both cobalt and indigo, the moments of quiet between the church bell rings, the slow walk through the gravel parking lot when the moon is full, singing alone. She stops singing along to the songs she plays to fill her house to push the “less-than” back into its corners and she begins to only listen. Her whole body is listening. She is standing at the window at dusk watching the light change, the shadows come on and stretch and become the night itself announcing. She is still and silent and unreachable.

Now she is listening elsewhere, with the thin fiber of her being. She looks as if she could disappear at any moment without warning, as if she could dissipate right before you. You would reach for her as her outline began to shimmer only to find yourself standing, alone, with your one hand suspended into emptied air.

© 2016 Dora E. McQuaid

All peace to each one of you. Dora

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