the whole pasture looked like our meal + letter no. 5

Animals
Frank O’Hara

Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it’s no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn’t need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn’t want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days


Dearest G,

It is 3:45 AM and I’m destroyed by your absence. You carved a presence in me, one I never had, but one you unknowingly cultivated. My heart just kept expanding out of a desire to discover you and love you. It became open, brave, free, vast. And now that you’ve left, that space has just become so bare. Emptiness is emptier, vacancy is more vacant, lone-ness is now alone.

It has already become a physical pain. I felt and still feel a crumbling somewhere. earlier while standing, I felt my knees buckling up—and I did once say that grief has a way of making your legs give in.

There are now so many supposed-to’s. Earlier was one. It would have been wonderful to have you there; many times did I need your humor to light up the room, even if it would only be told to me or understood by a few. The times I would go back to the buffet table for God-knows-what-round-already, I wanted you there to share in my newest delectable find. Many times did I just want your shoulder to rest my head on, most especially when it was nearing the end of the night and age just started creeping in and sitting on my eyelids—which would then be followed by a subtle, wisecrack comment that would make me dig my head into you even more. There is so much space without you, G. You opened this space, inhabited it briefly, and left. I’m scraping at memories with you. There is so much to fill.

There was a guy people were trying to set me up with. Not my type at all. He’s funny though, and seems like a genuine sort. But you’re funnier and your humor is something you don’t proclaim to the entire group (like he does), but it’s something you whisper on the side to just one or two people yet still produces laughter of the same magnitude. I appreciate that about you. He wasn’t my type phsyically—he had funny teeth and a weird nose—and even if you weren’t a hunky Spanish soap opera golden god, you had a face I could look at all the time. All the time. All the time. The guy was also straightforward in asking that he was looking to go out with someone and he was serious and headstrong about it, something I wished you were.

Now that I know it’s over—you texted me only to ask about my brother’s tutorial, yet the moment I said I didn’t want to meet because of that, you stopped texting—I’m considering dating him. I would have to tell him though that he’s only a way to distract myself from your absence. You know that I can’t lead someone on and string him along like that. Hopefully he allows me to use him as a distraction (I hope he’s that desperate and that I’m that awesome a person, hahaha).

But I can’t be in contact with you anymore. I am only reminded that our relationship now is different. The love I want to give you is so vast compared to the space you have already set aside for me. It will only break me even more. I don’t love you yet, but there was a space in me that I set aside for you to unfold. I cleared it out so you could stay there, build, grow, but there is nothing there anymore, and no one big enough for it just yet.

I have to erase you, G. It’s too painful. In the past, I would delete them out of regret and disgust, but this time, it’s because of an ache that I can’t scratch out of my chest. I have to erase you.

With love that has not lessened but is forced to differ,

R

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