Sometimes all I am left with are the blueprints of that apartment, with me as its lone inhabitant. But the images of its blueprints are colored in by your belongings and your interior design. Nothing fancy, just warm and pragmatic. Like your body and the memory of your body, that apartment was and is my home.
The rest of the time, I am left with the lay of your body, the landscape of your form. At times it is clear and simple like the bluest sky and other times it is dark and elegant like the calm sea at night. There are moments when my memory believes that it can drink your body empty like a glass of milk, and yet there are times when the memory rests full in wonder, wishing not to disturb the curves of your cheetah-like frame. Darker than your average African feline, your body and its movements were always like a baby lion cub, slender and sleek waiting to let out her childish roar.
When my mind retraces the territories of your body, my lips crawl over its frontiers like Neruda’s spider whose mouth crosses the body’s atlas. I know where to find you. I can still ease into memory and rediscover that which was mine. Maybe it was never mine, a man never owns the body of a woman. It is like custody or guardianship – a temporary possession with the specific purpose and duty of care, a bailment. But memory is experience and is my possession. I have dug trenches around your citadel. I was the mole that lived within your garden surrounded by your flowers in their bloom and now hibernating in their winter. For even in the darkest winter can I still find the way. The flowers are yours, but the way is mine. For I know where you hide your nectar. Between which flower beds and underneath which shrubs. The nectar still weighs on my finger tips and still rests beneath my tongue. Yes, surely, a woman’s nectar is her own, but your taste I own. I own it forever.
You may have withdrawn that nectar from my reaches, along with the rest of the branches, trees, and flowers of your garden. But, as long as the experience and the memory are in my possession, I shall find solace in silence (like Camus’ plague buried dormant beneath sofa covers and old mattresses, forgotten yet not eradicated). Trusting. Trusting that one day you shall come, aged and decrepit, knowing that I am the only one to turn to. You will have loved others, some more or less than me. Some may have loved you more or less than I had. For we must be honest. It is impossible to claim that we are the sole lovers of a woman’s garden. And so I have given you the open fields, relying on the prairies’ vastness to one day smother your body’s latitude like oversized sheets.
But, when you have exhausted all other remedies, you shall come to me. I am your last recourse. For it is I who shall strip you of age, of your elderly woman’s body. My memory shall cover your body, like my lips have done times infinite, and slowly wipe and peel away the wrinkles and scars and lost time. I shall be the savior of your beauty. My memory has stored away your nectar, and thus it is I who shall preserve its sweetness. So enjoy yourself, my darling, in my absence as you take the beloved possessions away. I know and I wait for your return where you can watch the years recede, washed away like the shores by the sea. That is what I own, what I shall forever have to offer.