The places! I have been recently. It sometimes is as simple as opening your eyes. Walk about and feel the tugs and pulls (of opportunity, agreed?) and then look, or listen, as the situation instructs. But this is no fresh news and no one enjoys a lecture (though many attend) so let me move away from tell and into show, the writer's foremost instruction. (Reader: note the playful tone? The Places! I have been of late)
The irony is not lost on me: while she rots decays fades, falls back into the oblivion that claims all, now we choose to speak to her beauty? Seek your perfection elsewhere.
How then to properly pay tribute, to distinguish the beauty of the departed lady from the many of fabulous beauties one might encounter on any given day? That her features were without flaw (think: full fleshy lips, always moist, and centered correctly in the lower quadrant; thin straight strong nose with exuberant nostrils; dark luminous eyes with lashes that reach for you; firm chin that leans up but not out, establishing both fearlessness and depth of character) is a given, a baseline expectation. And we might quite exhaust ourself cataloging the rest of her physical measurements or we might describe one of the kisses she stole: her full black hair tossed back in laughter, the red of the wine overpowering her lipstick with just a tickle lingering on the crease of her mouth, her eyes misty and unfocused, leaving a trail of smiles about the room (men always smiled when she looked in their direction) and the impression one might pull at this moment is that she is a delightful distraction, a vision even, a Girl with a Pearl Earring if you wish, mounted upon the wall, safely articulated over there and part of the room, the environment, but not part of the discussion, not part of your immediate reality (this her secret, really) and then in a moment there are two (soft warm vibrant smooth strong) hands pressed against your cheeks and for just a flash you see a peek of a laugh from her eyes (do they embrace or mock?) and then with an uncommon elegance, a pause (an offer of hors de combat, I presume), and there is no resistance because the allure of her continued touch overwhelms the mighty and the afraid: the most severe coward will find his mouth crawling over hot coals, jagged glass, to finally experience a brush of her breath, a tickle of her tongue. When she is finished, when she has bagged another, she will push your head away, your face away, with a thrust of her hands that will leave you thirsty beyond compare. You must find water. And so you will leave her, as water comes before pleasure, and her eyes will trail you, her laughter tickling at your ears.
I could spill and spread a thousand words and cull and plead through various combinations and not do her beauty justice. So I will describe her thus: she is like the mirror that reflects whatever vision you (the visitor, the holder of her hands) might possess within you of absolute unequivocal beauty. She is Helen of Troy, a pile of gold coins and shiny jewels, a sheet of Busnois, the radiating Virgin. And then she is better than that, more beautiful than your feeble vision: she is Jesus stepping off the cross and the little French girl leading the charge of foolish men and she is David slaying the giant warrior with only a boy's rock. She is the perfection of a memorable moment in time except that she reflects this moment from within who holds her hands, matches her breath, maintains the fire of her eyes without shuddering or fleeing. It is as if she has a third hand that extends into your chest cavity and a third eye that moves into your mind and a third ear that listens to every word you have spoken, every thought you have had, and in those moments she will love you better than you can imagine, than you ever will experience, even should you live to one hundred.
It might be inferred by placing testament to the Thief's beauty in such close proximity to such a remarkable lady as described above that there is an animosity towards the departed and that for eternity she will be compelled to pale by comparison. Although inaccurate (who can prove otherwise?) it is a strong argument and rather than try to overturn it we instead will ignore it. Please forgive the intrusion, the jar.
And so the final few words must be given to the appraiser (of hands) because while she breathes the other decays. So I should state that I did not flee and I did not shudder and thus she could trace me back a hundred years, were I that old, perhaps to birth, the womb, beyond. My hands in hers, her eyes in mine, one heart rhythm - the examination completed in a few beats but the experience elongated for my benefit, not unlike the lingering touch goodbye, the suckling of what is to soon be lost. Yes, I am ashamed that so soon came the melancholy. But I was forgiven, and also forgiven what my hands told: man of labor, craftsman at best (think: carpenter, cook, plumber, stone mason). Common man. One of thousands that she has held and instantly forgettable (although it is true that she does not forget, still). And so while I quickly exchanged love for despair I thought of your hands and wondered - how would they read? (I believe she would be startled by your hands - so fine, so delicate.) Do they still cause you embarrassment? Do you still start fights so you may bloody and punish them? (Yet, do you not task them as you should, as you must? And do they not obey with the precision of a surgeon, the guile of a magician?)