Friday, August 10, 2012

Lassoing Love

The last time I sat in this coffee shop, I was braless, wearing a smallish gray cotton dress and pair of petite Australian heels. I was still brimming with the false confidence that comes from having rustled yourself up from sex-exhausted sleep, from the tousled bed of a man who finds you desirable, a man with whom you will not fall in love.

There was the earthy roast of coffee beans. The soap lather smell still fresh on bare shoulders of puffy-eyed patrons.

In the salmon-pink morning light, I wrote, I read. I etched my heart into false computer ink by the divot of  fickle, blinking cursor. Keyboard well-oiled by the pads of my fingers, alphabet well-rubbed, smudged off in places, by my search for more and better words.

Words to disclose the essence of me. Words that, being read, would incite love.

I hoped.

Because that was what was missing from the now clean light of the morning in its desert heat, lapping up dew, fire pendulating on its upward swing.

How love is the clichéd fish that slips from clinging hands.

How love walks between lines and scoffs at ink's multifarious manifestations.

How love isn't among our forced folds of honesty, shook out like discarded bed sheets.

How love is in the letting. Is that not strength?

How love sometimes must not stand on two feet. There is learning to walk and to fall and to be held and to ask for the holding.

How love will not be mustered up.

I sat picking at a white-flour scone, some maple-walnut variety, tipping back espresso with just the right tilt of my body, the way I'd been shown by an Italian lover. Sat there lassoing love.

I think tonight--with chamomile tea and almonds--about how much I love that woman, who sat with such seriousness. How, some months from now, I hope I will love this woman, too.

Perhaps I will know more then. Perhaps less. Perhaps I'll have found love and left the lasso in someone's adobe-walled cottage along with a mislaid toothbrush or orphan earring.