Telling Our Stories
After all, it is language, this story. This telling of you, of me, of our feelings and years, whatever we’ve done. We are just speaking, really, creating from language our world and our children, our works and our actions as if we remembered.
I can’t see the harm in it.
I say I remember, here looking at you, that first time in your eyes, whether 18 or 40, when we may have sat facing each other or entwined, as if we’d first met and must absorb everything. How large they seemed, how blue and soft as rain, how far I could swim there as if building a nest.
I don’t see the danger in using our language to say so. In making up stories, alone or together, about us; our world and our selves, what we think.
After all, it is language we share. As you bend at your work, your collar reveals a fresh sentence, your skirt a painting of terms, in your flesh all these stories I study to learn. Of your breast and your elbow and hair. The nape of your neck exclaims and your scars everywhere. What the poet said, also with words, combining verbs and adverbs and nouns: “Your body is a book of thoughts that cannot be read in its entirety.” Just words, but I keep them and sing them again, I can’t see the harm in the trying.
I love you with terms of my body. I sign them to you when it’s dark. It is language, oh yes, and you hear me. We read with our skin. Typography refers to impressions. You impress me, even as I Braille what I need. How else might we weave what is we without terms and strokes or gestures?
Only language, after all, that we borrow, I get it.
But where is the frailty in trying?
I read and I read and I read what you tell, ever growing a Talmud of comment. I notate, I argue, I vent. Then repeat. I praise and I question and soothe. You likewise make of my verbiage a stream; a spring from far peaks that dissolves to a delta. What should we call what we do? Relat-ivity? Our capacity to engage and to meet – to relate? Communication? Always co-, ever with, filling munitions and messaging, our vocation?
To say, to listen, to hearken, to spell. Here we tumble and thicken and age. Her we interpret, reply and enrage. Here we bind ourselves, it is language we keep using, keep finding, continue to tell…
“………………..Even in sleep
our bodies seek each other, your face the moon
lighting my dreams. And by day, scenes beyond
untanglement. Tell me my story, love;
how could I know it, we are such knotted things?
-Philip White, from Aubade