And you bleed just to know you're alive

by Amy Turn Sharp


I wanna read this book.

When did you last write a love letter? When did you hold one from someone else to you? The parchment in yr hands? I have been thinking about love letters lately. I have been thinking that I used to write a lot of love letters. I have loved so much. Lucky I guess.

I wrote them to lovers, to family, to familiar strangers. I just wrote and gave freely. Nowadays I feel like I just click out sentences and blips to folks on the computer. I feel like there is never enough time or enough work space to spread out my paper and pens and heart. My fingers are shaped liked typing. I need to stretch them, to flex my phalanges with inked sticks.

Do you know that amazing feeling of rushing to a paper envelope and tearing it open as soon as you recognize the slanted handwriting of a lover? Yr heart on speed? I miss that. Do you? Joe writes to me sometimes and I fall to pieces on the floor immediately bc I die every time for his candor and simple charm. He says writing is not for him so much. Well, he can write and woo me that is for sure, but his truth does live inside of his mouth and what he is never afraid to say. He can speak what I want to whisper but cannot. He can say anything. I need a pen or a keyboard.

I am writing a love letter to a family for the auction I held here. I have started it in my mind. Laying down words like stones along a path I will follow soon.

Love letters are flying round my mind. I might even give one to my local barista when she hands me my coffee in a paper cup tomorrow. I could be tempted to mail small written words to bloggers I love. You know that bloggers were good love letter writers in their day...You just know it.
I will slip letters in Joseph's lunch sack like I used to. I will write to my father in law bc he loves the letters that fly from my heart to his tiny village in England.
I will give.
And if the universe works like they say- I might get one back soon.

I wonder if any of my old letters are alive still out there in orbit. In boxes or basements or bureaus. Are there any love letters that survived the end of me? I have a few still. They are precious. They are some of the best reminders of how I got to be with Joe. They were my primary education in love. They are like old maps of my heart. The ones that hurt me and the ones I hurt. If you line them all up they make sense. Like a compass to my big love. Growth.

My grandmother burned every single love letter my grandfather ever wrote to her after he died. She took them outside and stood in the Autumn of my 14th year over a trash can and set fire to them. I guess they were precious to her too.

Anyways, I was just thinking about all of this today. I was just thinking about it.

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