“When the winter comes,” I whispered into your ear, “I’ll go live
in a gray raincoat. It will be my cave, big and empty, until I fill
it with my shivering echo. I’ll know every fold, every crease and
corner of my new home. My hands will fill the cenotes of my
pockets, cold and deep. What is your secret?”
* * *
“I’d jump out a window for you,” you told me once, when we
were caught in an afternoon rainstorm. “Really I would” and I
knew you were talking about the moonlight shaped window on
the third floor, overlooking the morning garden. And I knew you
were telling the truth.
* * *
Once we painted the Garden of Intelligence on your wall, the way we thought it really looked. I modeled the river that laughed through it, on your long blue hair. The fish were pink and turquoise, and long birds gently snowed onto the vibrating leaves that hung from the branches like waterfalls. You painted wooden deer, and the path of curiosity, and a bell …
* * *
Usually these types of memories grow in the summer, ripening like
violet grapes, until they’re picked, placed on a shelf, forgotten.
And when you start missing those memories, you take them off a shelf, look at them long enough, and then write a letter. Usually. These memories turned color in the fall, and I didn’t forget them. It’s just that only now I remembered why they were important.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.