We were on a hotel terrace, smoking cigarettes, looking out over the Mediterranean Sea. That endless blue, the sound of always calling. He was telling me, "I'm in love with you, don't you see?"
We had loved each other once before, for a year.
I said You broke my heart, and he held me. It was night by then.
I said no for a month when he asked Can we be lovers again. (A man loved me through a month of my nos). I do not know which of us to blame: him for asking, me for relenting.
Please, if I could only love him back I said to the invisible force that separates minutes from each other and makes them into months.
What happened in the twelve months after the terrace: He loved me deeply and well. It was almost enough for both of us.
Now he's lost because he loved a lost man.
I got so tired of failing him I can't forgive myself. Now he's taking photographs of a life preserver, captioned, "Lo que yo necesito."
You love something, you move closer to its light. The heat melts your edges. It feels so good after the cold southern Spanish sea. The heat comes in waves, carrying you past buoys and breakers. When you look back, the shore where you'd laid your shoes is a glimmering shoal. It might as well be a mirage. You become the thing you love. You change, you mirror its form.
When he said I need to forget you, his voice broke in a way I'd never heard.
I could not say, But how will I remember myself if you go away?
The harm I did him, green jagged glass in the sand, the only markers of the way back.