I loved you so much once. I did. More than anything in the whole wide world. Imagine that. What a laugh that is now. Can you believe it? We were so intimate once upon a time I can’t believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can’t imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven’t been.
In the spirit of true love, here’s a series of wonderful/horrible valentines featuring the poorly rendered faces of some of your favorite writers, brought to you by the genius behind Badly Drawn Authors.
When you live in the dark for so long, you begin to love it. And it
loves you back, and isn’t that the point? You think, the face turns to
the shadows, and just as well. It accepts, it heals, it allows.
But it also devours.
Raymond Carver, section 5 of “Late Fragment,” New Path to the Waterfall (The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989)
Fai conto che io dica estate,
scriva la parola “colibrì”,
la metta in una busta,
la porti giù per la discesa
fino alla buca. Quando tu aprirai
la lettera, ti riverranno in mente
quei giorni e quanto,
ma proprio tanto, ti amo.
A storm blew in last night and knocked out
the electricity. When I looked
through the window, the trees were translucent.
Bent and covered with rime. A vast calm
lay over the countryside.
I knew better. But at that moment
I felt I’d never in my life made any
false promises, nor committed
so much as one indecent act. My thoughts
were virtuous. Later on that morning,
of course, electricity was restored.
The sun moved from behind the clouds,
melting the hoarfrost.
And things stood as they had before.
“In the kitchen he let his head down onto his arms as he sat at the table. He did not know what to do. Not just now, he thought, not just in this, not just about this, today and tomorrow, but every day on earth.”
Here is the poem I was going to write earlier, but didn’t because I heard you stirring. I was thinking again about that first morning in Zurich. How we woke up before sunrise. Disoriented for a minute. But going out onto the balcony that looked down over the river, and the old part of the city. And simply standing there, speechless. Nude. Watching the sky lighten. So thrilled and happy. As if we’d been put there just at that moment.