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In Love


Valerie N. Hunt

For the Few

This is for the few slipping beneath the gaze of the naked eye. I wish these words to be heard, yet if you hear them I'll turn you away. This is for the world to see. My words are meant for no other. It’s contradictory and I stand corrected because I have never uttered a word not meant for your ears, never penned a phrase not written for your eyes. This is for my eyes—my eyes, alone. There is no word I speak that is solely for me. No syllable graces these lips, stained with nicotine and tar that are for anyone to hear. I want you to hear.

I speak in the language of gesture and nuance. I say nothing in words. Words are but long “i”s mingled with harsh consonants. There is no language that speaks the song of the soul. These are my only words; my only fluent tongue. I do not understand the words you speak. They flow past my ears in a haze of murky lake water and I cannot grasp what it is you say until you look into my eyes. I don't speak the language of words.

Words are all I have.

What did you mean when you said that thing with your eyes? Your eyebrows were high, both of them. Was it in defiance? If so, in defiance of whom because I said nothing with words that I recall—that I understood. It was with your body drawn upright and high, your arms crossed upon your breast that you spoke those words. Or were your shoulders rounded and your arms at your side? What did you say? I don't speak the language of taut biceps and spent trapezii. I do not understand. It wasn't that I wasn't listening. I was, with all of me. I think I just missed what you said. I didn't understand. Your motions were fast and I couldn't catch them all. You closed, folded in to hug yourself and I misunderstood, I think. I think I thought you saw someone you weren't. I think I thought a lot of things I don't understand because I couldn't understand when you said “shoulders curled”.

That doesn't translate very well in my world.

It's the only language I speak. The words the body says way out loud when caught off guard and spinning with the axis of the earth wedged firmly in the spine of this moment, this time. That's my only language and maybe I didn't understand. Maybe it got lost in the words because I don't understand the “s”s and the, "No, I never said...." Because I'm not sure I would've heard. And maybe it's not these ears after all. Maybe the holes in there don't matter because ASL is still a language I don't speak. Maybe it's more than the guttural sounds of the brain ticking off motions of the tongue and the thrumming of the larynx. Maybe it's just that I don't quite get it when you don't speak with your soul standing way out front, resting on your shoulder. Not that I don't understand why you don't put it there. Foolish, it would be…I suppose. But what if it's always been some language barrier between you and me, between “u” and “i”? I don't know what to do with that other than say I only speak one language and it has no words. There are no nouns and verbs in the sentences I speak. There are no abortive clauses that leave us both wondering if I meant to finish a sentence or start a new one because neither of us understand when I speak because every ounce of each word is measured against the pound of the millisecond in the soul. So what did you mean when you put your shoulders high? I know I heard you, I just didn't understand. And how long ago was that? Last week? Last year? I can't quite remember because memory is tied to words I don't know.

How many syllables are in red roses on a white sheet and striped sheets with solid pillows? I can't count them because numbers mingled with words and that makes them both infinite somehow. And two hundred forty-six years ago I looked into your eyes and said something only we understood. I think it's time for me to say it again…whatever it was that I said that we both, somehow, understood. I think I remember it, now. It was this laugh we shared. Maybe there was a dolphin swimming by or maybe it was just the moon playing tag with the sky.


Ours is a language where words don't exist. There is no need for shaky translations from soul to English. No nouns, no verbs, no broken phrases when we're trying to find words to wrap our mouths around. I hear everything and perfectly in your smile. The whispering blink of your eye is a melody only I can hear. The beating of your heart is the drum to which I dance. It's in your eyes that I'm alive. It's from your skin that all the universes collide and I hear the echo of my breath. I hear the voice of all the gods and goddesses of all the lands in your laugh. With you, I need no ears. They're two superfluous flaps of skin placed on a head I do not need, attached to flesh and bones that exist only to carry this heart and house this soul which belong only to you. It is all yours. I have no need for any of it without you to breathe life into it. We have no need for "remember when" and "what if." We have lived this life and a thousand others a million times and baby, I'd keep on living them with you until Time fell to the ground and was carried away on a moonbeam dipped in honey.

When mountains stand in our way, I'll push them to the side. When oceans keep us apart I'll take only one sip and our path will be dry. I know not the limitations of mortality with you. With you, I live long beyond the days of Time and it's in those moments when Time no longer exists and you're right here, right next to me…that's when I know the bliss of the gods, taste the ambrosia of myths, and fold back this body to become the sun.

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