Windowpane

By in Distractions

If an image were to stay static on your retina, it would disappear from view. To see, your eyes must dance across the object in your sightline. It is unconscious, rhythmic and ever so slight. These saccades allow us to pick up the smallest detail.

They allowed me to survey his face for the minute expressions that fell across it. To notice how his nose fell slightly out of alignment at the bridge, signaling it had been broken at some point in time before we met. I could trace the outline of his face over the curves of his lips and through the individual hairs that bristled across his jaw.

His voice is a low hum and I find myself imagining the way it would sound with my ear pressed to his chest. The way it would reverberate through his rib cage to travel down my spine. How I would only be able to make out the shadows of words as if my head were beneath water. And quickly, as my eyelids roll down like blinds across a windowpane at dusk, I am brought back to the present.

Just when I think I have been able to read him — to find the passage I was searching for by thumbing through his pages and running my finger across the words — the phrase I had pinpointed no longer appears before me. A breeze has blown through, fluttering his pages, and I can no longer find what I was so close to unveiling.

I want to know every curve and shape his body makes. I want to map a floor plan from his face to his shoulder, over the valley of his spine, across his scapula and down to his elbows where I would trace across the muscle that swells between the radial and ulna bones. The journey would end at his fingertips.

I’d keep him locked inside my hippocampus, a spatial map that I can recall every time I desire to roam his halls. I can close my eyes and trace back through him and over — always in search of an empty room inside of him where I can lay down and rest.

Erin Matthews / Opinions Editor