Another Letter

Gia Arora
3 min readNov 19, 2023
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Beloved.

Do you remember the day we met? You would, I suppose. I know I do. No, not in vivid detail, not like it was yesterday. But like it was a very long time ago, and I didn’t know well enough back then to replay it in endless loops in my head, so the details unspooled and slipped away. Like the broader bits got caught in my fingers, and my hands knew well enough to hold on tight. Like I’ve recounted it so many times that the memories have spread and contracted, until they sat in clumps in my thoughts: a smile, two smiles, a laugh. Your hair in the sun.

The other day, I wrote a poem. The “you” in it was you. (It’s always you.) I was Icarus, you were the sun. I reached for you and was claimed by the sea. And for a moment, for a glorious, shining moment, your rays touched my fingertips and my world was painted gold.

Why do I compare us to tragedies? Why, because there is love in them, of course. They wouldn’t be tragedies if there wasn’t. In order to suffer, you need to have something to lose.

(Sometimes, beloved, I wish love was more than loss. Sometimes, I wish you could know what something meant to you without the torment of imagining a world without it in it.)

(I read a book once. It said loss isn’t as close as you think.)

(I think that book might have been right. I think it will take me time to believe it anyway.)

There is a song I think you would like. Do you want to hear it? I haven’t written it yet. It lives in my limbs and in the corners of your eyes. It touches the back of your palm and entangles itself with my veins.

Why does poetry love veins better than arteries? It’s arteries in which our blood flows the fastest, arteries that branch into each individual cell of our body and pump life into it. Perhaps it’s because veins are safer. (But was love ever safe?)

(It is because our veins are a map leading straight to the heart.)

(My veins are gentle with my blood, and it loves them the better for it.)

Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I know that your eyes are an ocean, and I leapt into them without testing the waters first. I know that I am storm-tossed, ship-wrecked, clinging onto a piece of wood for dear life. I know you are lightning, a rainstorm, the sea longing to cradle me at its pit. I know I am clawing my way up for a gulp of air, but finding only the sweet ache of rainwater, slipping through my lips like ambrosia.

You are a whisper that never leaves my throat. You are a secret, a memory, a forest fire. Everything and everything. You are a metaphor lodged somewhere behind my eyes, curled into my lashes and nestled in my teardrops.

I don’t think I’ll ever read poetry as lovely as you.

***

In case anybody wants to read the poem I mentioned earlier:

My love, my love,
Did you know you are the sun?
And I, I am Icarus,
Soaring to you with blind certainty,
Knowing that the wax is melting,
Knowing that the fall is coming,
Knowing that the rocks are unforgiving,
Hoping that you see me reach for you
Before I am claimed by the sea.

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