Practical Mystic

Four seasons before we met, I knew us as an artist knows a painting before a single trace of color graces canvas. If this were not so, I would have been too afraid, let you slip away.
Arms outstretched, facing east, morning light dancing on my face, words I knew, like water, pouring from my lips, “…make of my prayer a fire that will burn away the veils…”* a mirage, you vanished just as I reached for you. I stopped trying to catch shadows, turned back to my prayer and waited as one does when the expected may never arrive, when one needs to let one foot follow the other, begins to keep a sense of maturity tucked in pockets, like bubble gum once stashed between denim and flesh inside a cotton pouch.
Body at rest, cloaked in darkness, eyes seeing only what spirit gives, we spent hours as we would someday. Velvet haze outlined scrolling scenes of more than I could imagine a marriage to be yet every cell demanded I was witnessing my own soon be life, to one day be unveiled from the sheath of night. When I found morning, undimmed was my knowing of us, our something I dare not simply call happiness, or any word as none I knew contained this midnight message.
Night after night, I began to see your form, one detail at a time, until only your face remained hidden. Months passing under such a spell wore on me, and when, in a year, I found myself moving through true space that once occupied my sleep, I couldn’t breathe afternoons alone, knowing you must be near. I would pause mid step, hear each atom sing a familiar melody, catch my breath, gaze on an early autumn limb barely moving outside my bedroom window, balance a single tear, like an almost answered prayer, on black lashes.
Amid casual laughter, walking through reality, I finally saw you, face and all, nearly lost my balance, barely caught before anyone sensed a miracle unfold. Silence asked to be observed, wisdom called me to know for myself, pay attention, meditate, not hang my soul’s decision on mystic allusions. I am known to be impatient, casting aside notions of careful consideration, but this time, I knew there was no other way.
When finally, amid practical dailiness, not under the spell of reliving, as I walked across my living room, I knew my waking wish for us, from conscious knowledge, time with you in flesh. I did not stop, sit where I stood, bow my head and cry. I continued to my destination, let the afternoon unfold, my whole being carried in certainty.
When, days later, you stood in my kitchen, looking for a way to manage words unexpected, unfamiliar with your life plans, when you tried to tell me what our friendship meant, I thanked God I had been given a year to prepare.

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