Love letters. So magical and so often neglected once you are past the early phases of infatuation and romance in a relationship. Andy and I have reams of love letters printed out on old-fashioned perforated printer paper from our early days together. We made great use of the ARPANET for emailing love letters (before the Internet as we know it existed) when we lived apart during graduate school. How about sending a love letter to someone you love for no other reason than to share a magical moment?
Today’s poem choice called to me for two reasons—love letters of course, and clouds. Need I say more given my adoration of clouds and writing of love?
Love Letter (Clouds)
By Sarah Manguso
for B. H.
I didn’t fall in love. I fell through it:
Came out the other side moments later, hands full of matter, waking up from the dream of a bullet tearing through the middle of my body.
I no longer understand anything for longer than a long moment, or the time it takes to receive the shot.
This kind of gravity is like falling through a cloud, forgetting it all, and then being told about it later. On the day you fell through a cloud . . .
It must be true. If it were not, then when did these strands of silver netting attach to my hair?
The problem was finding that you were real and not just a dream of clouds.
If you weren’t real, I would address this letter to one of two entities: myself, or everyone else. The effect would be equivalent.
The act of falling happens in time. That is, it takes long enough for the falling to shear away from the moments before and the moments after, long enough for one to have thought I am falling. I have been falling. I continue to fall.
Falling through a ring, in this case, would not mean falling through the center of the annulus—a planet floats there. Falling through the ring means falling through the spaces between the objects that together make the ring.
On the way through, clasp your fists around the universe:
Nothing but ice-gravel.
But open your hands when you reach the other side. Quickly, before it melts.
What did I leave you?