• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 05

Phantom Lover

"You know I dreamed about you, for twenty-nine years before I met you"
The National – "Slow Show"

Passing the horizon, I’ve been back-thinking that rare March afternoon you came to see me. Before the transcontinental flight to my dying father. Between us we spoke so little, so exceptional. We sat on the couch in that rented flat, knees as close to touching, and talked about, what. Details I’ve forgotten. My imagination, even here, limits. The future can be known, but unknown too. Platitudes. You were too young to understand my anguish, but innately you observed its depth.

What surfaces surely is the memory of your hand on my arm, heavy, surviving the bending and breaking moment’s immobility. How can one examine the layered scratches of oncoming grief? But, I see your hand, like an electric brand on skin. White light. I ask the memory: is it still my skin?

You’re nearly the same age as I was when we met. It’s been years, and I still don’t have things sorted out. It’s been years and I finally allow myself to observe the colour love lost turns, the way moments grow the further you run from them. I dreamed of you, before I met you, and still I could not uncomplicate my personality, could never learn, could not alter the direction of something hesitant to be lost. Time, for sure.