my sparrow tongue in aspic

Originally uploaded by natalia*.

A beloved friend of mine, (who will remain nameless), inspired by the anonymous love letters I was receiving last spring, has been sending me his own letters. They carry me more than I have the ability to tell him. They paint me as I feel in my most glorious moments. I have quite a collection of them now. I spread them across my room, tuck them into books, and generally leave them where I might re-discover them later. I’m not sure why I’ve decided I should start posting them, but this one came today addressed to Dr. J. Holmes Esq.

Dear Jhayne,
&nbsp &nbsp Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a girl who made herself out of wires, feathers & tiny silver bells. Precious thing that she was (& she was) she was ill used by the winds of fortune, tossed hither & yon by rapacious storms ’till one day (a day like any other) she said
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp enough
& thrust half of her wires deep into the soil & wrapped the other half tight around a nearby tree & screamed in pain and defiance as the winds tore at her feathers & set her bells a-ringing & the cacophony was almost as unbearable as the wrenching tearing straining & then it wasn’t, and it wasn’t.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Here I’ll stay
&nbsp she said & the trees all bent to listen, for precious thing that she was (& she was) the peal of her voice was like fresh fallen acorns gone to root in spring sunlight & they bent their trunks & spread their boughs low & she slept in the shade for a century or three until the raggedness of her feathers receded & her cables grew back thick & strong. Precious thing though she was (& she really was), memory is not forever & she spread her wings one autumn morning & flew straight back up into the waiting arms of the storm.

And this one is a favourite. It lives next to my bed, where I don’t have to read it, but simply know that it’s been carefully folded and placed there in memory of something that almost was as well as what most certainly managed to be. I refuse to admit how much of this I have actually spoken.

&nbsp “Intelligence cannot be a one way street,” you lazily alleged, more to pick a fight than because you really believed it. Or anything.
&nbsp &nbsp (Your hair, burnished copper, framed your face like the latin in a sermon, painfully bright against the cool ebony of your naked shoulders)
&nbsp “When we think about things, things think about us,” you continued blithely, “Think about it! Why does genius die young? It’s not simply that nature abhors a smartass. nature abhors everything, but only in the presence of brilliance does it have the wherewithal to do anything about it.”
&nbsp &nbsp (I traced the lines of your stomach, the graceful curve of your hips as they levered you upright with that gentle susurration of rock on metal.)
&nbsp “It works with people, too. Intelligent people don’t cluster, have no real power to attract each other; they make each other, force each other up out of the endless sea of stupid, form conversation partners out of, effectively, dust.”
&nbsp &nbsp (The clack of gears is the voice of angels as you stand and look down at me, amber eyes glinting, teeth glowing gold in the firelight)
&nbsp You add, offhandedly, “Of course, this applies doubly to us.”
&nbsp &nbsp (You may be right, but I’m not listening, am too wrapped up in the wonder that I could ever build anything as beautiful as you.)