The Longing for love

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.

We don’t live here. Not anymore.

By we, I mean me and him. When we used to be We. He had a way with the evenings. Countless evenings. When we left everything scattered behind, opened the door and stepped out to kiss the sky, bathed in twilight. Such evenings. When he weaved spells aplomb, wreathed with lights and shadows, bats and mirrors, dust storms and distorted beings. They spilled onto the canvas of "we", a mosaic that allured me to see the world through his eyes. Our eyes.

Love is strange. As an infant, its’ a rosebud that blooms, a balloon that floats, a foaming sea that spreads itself childishly on the infinite lonely shores. It promises a picture, an answer, a missing piece clutched tightly in hands, found after sheer luck. With the leaves in summer, it thickens into a canopy, providing the much needed shade to the wandering soul, suddenly finding itself entwined in the joys of being loved.

Then one fine day, the air whimpers cold. The evenings metamorphose into dreary stillness. Till the inner song beats dead. The rose petals wither off. The balloon pops. The sea recedes.

Save for the memories. Only yesterday I would wear them on my sleeve, carry them on my lips, tuck them carefully in the most reachable shelf. Only today, I hide them, throw them in the farthest corner possible, and confine them to less visited depths, chained to the wretched hurt and anger . And when no one is looking, not even me, I sit behind the perforated doorway and wear them on my lips again, like a chocolate devoured in guilty pleasure, and the pearls admired silently in private by sad O-lan, who never wore one.

We don’t live here. Not anymore. I stroll on this desolate island. Wrapped in the metaphors that germinated in my heart and wilted in his head.


  • O-lan, lives on in the “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck.
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