"I wish I would have never loved my whole life before this and thinking so I wish the exact opposite. To love is to live and to love well is to live most excruciatingly. I am blind if it weren't such a thing and I know that such a thing is real because it brings me the most desire, and so too the most pain. I look down at your hands and I don't even see them with eyes." I grab her warm little hand with mine and continue thinking and speaking at the same time, one purely intermingling with the other so that both melt away from any meaningful distinction, only living now in pure color in relation to a shape of action, hand touching hand, pausing, words touching ears: "I don't feel them with my hands either" and her hand so small so delicately fragile and powerful and slender and heavy all at the same time "This little hand which only within my heart I see and touch and feel" and then I bring her hand to my heart "This little hand is within my burning heart" and then I stretch her fingers together in a fist on my chest "See? Squeeze it and your hand burns." and she releases her searing burn grasp quickly as I reach my hand up to hers, squeezing my fingers into a fist upon her scalding heart and feeling the pain and agony rush from my hand to my brain yelling and spitting to unclench, my will, or the sharpening blade of my soul refining, holding ground over my singed and smokey flesh, and then, eventually giving in and releasing, hand scalded, now merely flat on her chest, still desperately clinging to that radiating heat which the human body gives off and which the absent one even amongst palm trees makes it cold enough to die. Have I been speaking these words? Do they remain silent? Does she see in my eyes the plane of words beyond sounds that I wish to communicate to her? "To look into your face is to look into a fire I've known my whole life, far more powerful than the waters or the hand burning and tightly clasped to my heart. It is your face and your eyes that I see only through my heart, that has always been there with me, you, not the image of you or the feel or the smell or the sound of your voice or your heels upon this old hard wood beneath, but you-- through my heart. I wish I had never loved my whole life because I have used the word wrong my whole life. I've loved with my eyes, I've loved with my hands, with my ears and nose and my tongue. And now all I wish is for my wrought iron fire to drown in the river that we met and for you not though your eyes or ears or nose or hands or mouth but for your kind and patient heart to watch me and burn with me and to burn the river to the vapor." Paris, 2022 S.C. Knier
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