What we talk about when we talk about love

cobweb in the sunshine and the last Sunday I sat on this particular porch

cobweb in the sunshine and the last Sunday I sat on this particular porch

What we talk about when we talk about love
Nokyoung Xayasane

I think I miss laughter the most.
I miss laughter, induced by another person,
or should I be more specific?
Induced by you.
Sitting on our front porch,
there were those tinkering wind chimes
our neighbour hung that annoyed you
but charmed me.
Do you remember them?

We sat in the comfort of each other,
reading and not speaking
while the hushed streets barely
whispered in the summer wind.

I miss the ease with which you live
your life,
the lazy energy of Saturday morning,
when there was time to say nothing
and do very little.

Sometimes I would look over at you
and I would try and remember
the sunlight streaming through the evergreen tree
beside our porch,
and I could barely contain myself for joy.

I miss the lazy car rides where I didn’t
have to talk and you didn’t have to listen.
We shared a silence
that only two people can share
who have said all they have to say
and need not say one word more.

Yes, I do,
I do, miss the easy laughter,
and I miss those lazy summer nights
when we were young and free
and full of something we could not name.

This morning,
riding back to our old neighbourhood,
I realized I missed
the wide-eyed enchantment
of things to come,
not knowing what was next for us.
Do you miss those things too?
I wonder,
but am too afraid to ask.

The man beside me on the streetcar
murmurs something incoherent
and I miss the ease of not missing you.

I know I can return
but I can never go back
to that place we shared
where laughter came easy
and the days were sweet and pure
and full of possibilities.
Do you remember that place
as I remember it?

I guess missing is all we have.
Those memories we shared from long ago,
they become as audible
as our old neighbour’s wind chimes
and as bright as the light streaming
through the evergreen trees
where two people read in the hush of summer.

And I realize far too late,
this must be what we talk about
when we talk about love.

(November 2015)

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