Before We Even Know

Before We Even Know


 Timothy Herrick

 Copyright 2011, held by author

 Her bedroom window overlooks a mighty river. Distant red lanterns glide slowly in the dusk. The breeze dries our skin and I see her eyes again, remember caresses, tender and sweet. Her kiss, delicate as a humming bird’s peck at first… then the kiss is all we knew… before we even know.

I wake to see dawn ease darkness from the sky. Sounds begin in bits… song birds, gull caws, a tug boat horn echoing across the water… gradually reminding me how thick the quiet was when I heard only the gentle exhales of her sleep.

In the kitchen making coffee, the cats orbit my ankles, howling then purring, insisting I feed them on schedule. I scribble in the notebook and listen to radio news on low. Then I bring her mug to the nightstand and kiss her forehead.

 What I use to call love I know now were lies, diversions that avoided the heart, that only alleviated boredom, making confidence just a quick thrill, the latest dance, an implication and charade. Better than loneliness was the excuse to believe. Truth resides in our hearts. If the earth and the sky spoke, their words would be easier to define than the emotions I feel when I see her eyes.

Love, like hope, is not an extension of us but an entity distinct, renewed by our trust. Warmth hovers like fog around her body. Don’t let me return to a vacant heart, a heart beside the point. Don’t let me leave the forward motion our two hearts share. Radiance barely flickers in this life for most. My life glistens with the light that shines in her eyes.

Now I watch her wake. Now I watch her smile. Today promises delight and surprise… again.