Imagine building dutifully a staircase to a room no one would find,
including you. The body’s drift through waking hours can feel like this.
Last year I took a midday August walk along the promenade encircling
the lake and the sun was glorious. I know I was supposed to be
happy. A friend paused, gestured to three stone steps wedged
into the hillside, leading nowhere, and we laughed at the absurdity.
Afterward: a dinner when I, surrounded by those I love, cradled
my silences, betraying no one—but myself. How to keep language
or its cold absence from devouring me. A window through what it reveals
announces itself, unflinching. I am here, I am, I promise my oblivious
shadow. Look at how the light makes beautiful the air’s once hidden
dust without touching it. Some sadnesses are unfixable during their stay
in the body but still fade. Say one day I find, if not the room’s interior,
a window to it; say, inside, a mirror I call to, telling the figure within
to look me in the eyes, and it does, remembering.