I interject our story in the space between Smith’s words, emphasizing their lines on where words fall short, those that succeed in capturing my own sentiments. I see you and I in a shared glimpse between them and a girl, a blink where we know what we don’t say. But behind that familiarity is a private expanse of thoughts that our time doesn’t touch– “the other side of that side eye”. I fill that sheet of printed poetry with my black ink of what could threaten those years of us.
Here are the truths that I begin with. What I remember, from a breathless dash in a downpour to the spread of cards on a couch as we wait for our food to finish. What we’ve shared, from a sweatshirt to a secret to be handled with care. We held each other when we laughed ourselves into silence and when our shoulders shook from our burdens. These moments, like Smith, I know.
Here are the harder truths that follow. The area where our lives have met with one another has somehow created a rift that becomes more difficult to bridge. We haven’t acknowledged its existence yet because to do so indicates faults in the foundation of our friendship, and we both value each other too much. The fear of a fatal misunderstanding is what locks us in this position of closeness, but not close enough.
We’re handed postcards to send, and I choose one with a painting I think you’d like, one that reminds me of the album cover of a collection of songs I want to share with you. I cram the postcard with handwriting I know you’ll struggle to read, filled with questions and those things left unsaid between us. I leave the space of your name, the house I’ve been to and made memories in, the rectangle in the upper right corner blank for now. A contingency, if I fail to address this divide before we leave.
All my love,