What Remains

I have always loved his eyes. The soft downturn at the outer edge, the deep brown beauty, the way in which they well when the tough sinks and the tender surfaces. The skin around those eyes is deepening, much like his sight.

I met him many years ago when his skin was smooth and his eyes shrouded with a nameless shame he could not shake. My hand in marriage he would take. We’ve come through the years, waded the though rivers of tears, the trauma, the surgery, the savagery, the sorrow… to the tender and the true.

The essence of him I will forever remember on the shores of this life, should the tide take him sooner than me. I know him and I have known him. The furnace of fury we have endured to get here; the misery melted away of the things that isolate each from the other. The work, oh Lord, the endless work: to be, to know, to see.

I had no idea that love could deepen, ripen, and burst in such a fashion as to break the bonds of brutality. I did not know that trust could be flooded by the sewage of another’s savagery, and that when the rain of ruin receded, we would be left clinging each to the other. Unwavering, unshakable, and unbreakable.

Something happened when our patch-worked little life got blown apart. The collapse was so complete. Every fragment fell. We fell facing each other; saw the others raw flesh; the burned off rags; the hot tears; the fissures of fears that filled with rivers of ruin. Rivers. We learned to swim. We became shelter for each other.

There is nothing frivolous, nothing unspoken, nothing unknown. Nothing. We each now know all that one human can “know” of the other. We have become inseparable; seared together; one flesh fused.

This is what remains when the tsunami of trauma stilled. There is nothing pretentious, nothing ethereal. No, this is palpable. This is real. I wish you to never be torn asunder by another’s malfeasance. I wish it ardently. Yet should you endure such a slaughter, I want you to know that while the way of recovery is long and the pathway perilous, something beautiful can yet survive, live, and thrive.

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