Walking back; it's evening at the dawn of spring. Between us, the first seedlings quicken within the soil.
It feels like it used to - the warmth against my chest, the light on my eyelids - and grinning, 'stupid happy', like I wrote in a hand driven by raw, human intensity - my first taste, like nectar.
I can see it; you're beside me, your hand is around my waist, then in my hair, then tracing the fall of an invisible teardrop from my eye to the soft ridge of my chin. Your fingertips are softer than I imagined.
That's how we would walk, watching the sun melting through the trees like golden water, and the light fracturing the ground in shards of haloed glass. You'd draw it, maybe - you did that, created beauty wherever you saw it, like you needed to return something to the soil and the endless, blossoming throng of nature.
The air's lighter than usual; it has a thinness about it, an intricate thinness like gossamer, and the smell of fresh, wasted days on rooftops or blooming fields, feeling the flowers or the grass or the warming flush of the air. Flesh against petals. Intertwined, like our fingers, and the breeze's loose tresses, which trail against our skin.
It's the thought of you, the hopes that can lift the tones of an aching heart, the temptation to love again with the same furiosity and passion and conscious, volitional stupidity - that's the allure of spring days, and the light, and the freedom. That's what I smell and feel in the earth's breath; that's what draws me here, to thoughts of you while the sun explodes, distributing light like pollen over the rooftops and the trees.
But I was here once before, and now I can feel it. I'm back at the cliff face, where the waves lash against the slate like flames and the air hangs heavy with dark, burdened lovelessness. To love you, no, not to love you, to give myself up to you, completely, to live as a shell of myself, to degrade myself, to decay. And I jumped.
I was here once before, now I can feel it, and I loved you - well, it works in the spring, with Death and Life hanging like dew on my forehead. But there's pain, and then there was the ravaged, bloody devastation of those nights without you, when I couldn't know if I'd ever see your face again. Love gives you certain things, and paints hues of pink and gold over the rest, over the brokenness, over that which fractured me. And I know that now. And I know I need to give you up.
Because between us - well, darling, between us there's nothing but air.