She argued with herself. Poetry or prose? The aim would be for poetry, for the wound rather than the illness. The specifics. Condensed like milk. Sweet as. Reduced like ashes. Dry and ground down. She cried to herself. At many things. The theme tune to Desert Island Discs. The man who lost his house in Aleppo. The people who gave everything and still managed to breathe, to smile in the face of terror. She talked to herself. About the meal she was cooking, about the fat Sun falling into the sea.
What was her love like? She found it incomprehensible. Like an impossible tangle of threads. In the mid of night it overwhelmed her, made her fearful for her own sanity. On bright days when the grass was wet, when the sky blinked with the clear light of an innocent, when the streets were washed clean by a heavy rainfall, when the birds took up their singing again, when the wood smelt of life and decay in equal measure but with the smell of growth always winning, on such days she felt that her love was all that mattered.
The Parkinsons man became some sort of totem. He reappeared after months. His shaking hands, his tight dry skin, the fear behind his eyes. He brought her coffee from the cafe in a special carrier. She made sure his lid was tight and as he drank he held onto the wooden bannister with his other hand. When he held and gripped it he did not shake and she had the urge to take him into her arms. To pull him tight and close, to embrace this big half broken quivering man and stop his trembling.
And with eyes closed tight the face she saw was always the same. Deft fingers, dipping tongue, an open smile pictured just as she had always described, like the clouds lifting away from the sun. And sometimes she thought, and the thought itself was sudden and shocking and quite violent, that it was as if she were looking at her own face.