It has become more difficult to think about her,
because I was there at the start. I was there when
love was new – when we pulled love out of its box and
unwrapped it in a hotel room in Banff, in the mountains,
with room service bringing Heinekens. We discovered
new pleasures, and delighted in skin and lightness and
breath. There was the spark of desire. There was the
measuring stick of passion. And kissing. Kissing her
was a sigh – a mad drug for floating above things. We made
love and were not sated. We made love again, and still
were not satiated. We made love again and believed
we would never stop touching. We were enough for each
other. We believed it would always be so. We wore our desire
like an infinite tattoo of need. We lived in a Chagall painting,
where anything could happen, where donkeys could be red,
or blue, and lovers always embraced in dark corners. The moo
played the violin, chickens played drums and fish floated in
the sky. We stood naked at 2 a.m. and howled because
that’s what love is. That’s exactly what you do when you
are in love.

I was reckless with her. I was reckless with her love.
As if holding her was a trifling thing. As if I was some
kind of prize and it was her who was lucky to have me,
and not the other way around. Jesus Christ the young
are stupid. In time, I turned my back on her and travelled a
different road.

She is just a picture now, of a heartbreakingly beautiful
young woman holding an umbrella on a rainy day
in the fall, looking

at me.