I don’t know how many times I’ve read your last letter. I know the words by heart now; they’re embedded in my skin. I keep our souvenirs from the last year nearby. I lay them out often to recall our steps, to etch the memories into my mind. I touch each one and whisper your name, move on to the next. Do you remember the meadow in April, sheathed in morning fog? Do you remember the stepping stones in the river? I keep things from before you even knew who I was, when I could only watch from a distance. These I brush over as well, until I am lost inside you, and certain that our story will never fade from my mind.
The nights are long and the depth of the ache cannot be measured. The north winds have returned, leaving behind little trace of summer. I often wake to a world of delicate frost. You are not here, and the daytime clouds curtain the sky just enough to hush the light—the emptiness is complete.
This morning, as with many mornings, I opened my eyes and for a moment expected to find you next to me. All day now I’ve been thinking of you. But it’s getting darker now, and I’m afraid I won’t be able to sleep tonight.
How long has it been since I last saw you, love? A month? A year? A thousand? Return to me soon.
Yours —for all time,
Words by Jesse Michael Renaud.