poetic memory

February 3, 2011

“Kneeling by her as she lay sleeping in his bed, he realized that someone had sent her downstream in a bulrush basket. I have said before that metaphors are dangerous. Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.”

if poetic memory is meant to describe that part of the brain which clings to what is charming or touching–to what makes life beautiful–then you made your entrance long ago. the past two years have maintained a movement that has oscillated, forever doing so high above the ground on which we once stood. i suppose we can break it down this way: we began with feelings, then moved to deep-set emotions, and now we are founded on ideas. from the beginning, one of my ideas was that i would write to you. so here is a small part; it seems i only ever give you portions.

this one begins with:

our love is an empire

and it ends with a rumination on fire and desire, on my soul as a hermit known only by you.

as i read, i began to wonder if it is true that the love we know begins with a metaphor. and i wonder now if it is impossible to determine, because metaphors are often subtle and terribly elusive. people always ask me to go back to a moment, a point in time, an action. but i believe now that i must go back to a single word, a particular gesture, an otherwise nondescript blinking of the eye.

well, you made your entrance long ago.

i can say that at least.

certainly i can say so.


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