Saturday, December 08, 2007

On the Kodak paper

Beneath the red quilt, your memories seep inside me like brandy. The days are shorter now and, in the night, when I am sometimes awakened, I feel my heartbeat – the feebleness of it. I have no more stories to tell; all plots are revealed. Some lie low, like dormant volcanoes. I suspect they will never ever erupt.

How do I weep silently again, like I did that night, years ago, when I came home, staggering on my feet, and listened to a song from Raincoat? The intensity of youth is fading away.

Yesterday, I was searching for old papers and it led me to an old, worn-out envelope. I recognised the stamp on it, probably stuck on it with your saliva. I opened it up with trembling hands. On the Kodak paper, your lips, glistening with Vaseline, sent those familiar invitations to me. In the luminosity of the pinewood burning in the fireplace, your face looked like Chinar leaves in autumn. In your hands you held a copy of Love in the times of cholera: hands that I have held in mine for God knows how many times. My fingers feel like dead branches; the lines on my palm are nothing but marks of your coming in and going out of my life.

Cook up a surprise for me. When I am lying down in a feverish blur, arrive silently and touch my parched lips. I will erase all lines from my palm. I will embalm my hands.

Come back, Maya.