first thing this morning i wrote her a letter in response to her letter that i received last night. i was too tired to write last night, so i dreamt a letter to her all night and then wrote the highlights at daybreak. i wrote the wrong date, the wrong year, and didn’t put the time, because in-between the time started and the time completed, an hour had passed (as well as an entire night), and two whole days will pass before she’ll pull the letter from her mailbox.
she wrote me another poem yesterday. every poem she writes is better than the last, because her poetess prowess grows stronger inside her, along with the rest of her, always growing stronger. she knows this, but not as viscerally as i do, not with cells buzzing more boldly every time i sit next to her. she knows her strength in other ways, in the color changing of her hair and the epiphanies in therapy and the foreignness of what was and is not and will not be here but is somewhere else.
the orange tree in her front yard might be dying, but isn’t dead yet. the cypress tree is bursting through its bucket waiting to be planted. the jasmine reached down to kiss me as i walked to the door, unlocked and welcoming me.
we might have gone to the museum if we hadn’t missed each other as much. because we missed each other, we drank cocktails we concocted to be stiffer instead of walking among art. we sat on the porch with pillows to our backs and trusted the breeze to keep us cool while we laughed about things that might have been hurting only last week.
after delivering the letter i wrote to the outgoing mailbox, i realized that i write to her the way i used to talk with my wife, except i am stronger and she is stronger and i can write everything more strongly to her than i could say anything to my wife. and then i remembered that i left my wife because she wasn’t strong enough to do what i thought was best, what i thought was right, what i knew would save us, and i wasn’t strong enough to stay. i saved myself, after destroying myself, and this is what is left, this is the reward, a strength that pulls the strongest ones to me, the poetess who writes a poem to recruit me for her army. hers is the only army i would join, because fighting for her is the same as fighting for me and we’re winning this war, faster and stronger together. we’re winning this war by living the truths about love, loss, grief, and all the truer things that grow stronger from here, from there, from the space that opens wider when we are together.