Sometimes I'm caught unawares by "More Than Words" playing in a department store, or a lover requesting it on the radio late at night when I'm on my way home. I love you when I hear the familiar guitar starts and stops.
Something about the steady rhythm of the shaker and the vulnerable words reminds me of the way your palms were cold and clammy in the shell of my hands that winter day, years and years ago. We were waiting for something to begin and for a taxi on the corner of Pontenova and Elm when you took my hand suddenly.
We ran to my favorite spot in a nearby park by the little lake that had frozen over, evergreen river reeds penetrating the ice.
The sun painted the snow shoveled to the side of the garden path a bright white and I smile at the memory of your breath coming in slow, gardenhose shaped clouds. The air echoed with early morning quiet and I could see your pulse thump in the flush of your cheeks. Even now, the french blue of the windbreaker you wore makes me think of the scent of melting snow and your favorite cinnamon gum. Your throat was visibly working, trying to say what I already knew, your hands curling into themselves everytime I bit my lip and smiled at you encouragingly. I waited.
Then the clouds moved in front of the sun and the wind started cycloning fast around our bodies, which were already shivering with chill, nerves and the uncertainty of repressed declarations. Strangers filtered in around us and when you opened your mouth, about to begin the rest of my life, I heard my name on someone else's lips. The moment had passed us by and I haven't forgiven you yet for pulling your hands hastily away ... for the playful way you escorted me to someone else's warm embrace as if you hadn't just been choking on love unsaid. Words you never said since.
But I love you again when I hear the familiar harmonies and my lips move to mouth the words of the story of my almost life. And when the song is over, I put you away and pull up to the house where the husband who isn't you is sleeping, his hand out over the part of the bed I usually sleep on. He waits for me, even in dreams.
That morning, I loved you, though you couldn't find the words to say what I already knew. And if you had
asked me when spicy cinnamon, melting snow and my love for you filled my senses,
I would have said yes.