Shelter from the Storm

by | Jan 27, 2018 | Fiction, Pilot Issue

This is a letter. In this letter, I want to be able to tell you all the things you[1] mean to me; however, I can’t. It’s not possible. Just like an amethyst takes hundreds of years to form, so it would take for me to want to explain. I do not have the breath allotted to try and charm you back into my arms. Te amo como ciertas cosas oscuras son para ser amado / en secreto, entre la sombra y el alma[2]. I have considered you to be the hope I long boarded, like an arc, to escape the flood that is my past. You are the little dove that came back and brought with it signs of a new world. It’s like Bob Dylan says: I came in from the wilderness a creature void of form/ ‘Come in,’ she said[3] but I stood at the door. There is only so much waiting you can allow yourself before I turn into a relic, into a collapsing pantheon of brittle beliefs, into a burning Rome. You were always quick to put out the flaming arrows shot at me by some archer in my synapses. Whoever brought us together, be it God or otherwise, He sure likes to see me stumble my way into places, things, people that I do not deserve to be among[4]. Do you remember the first night you came home with me? How we didn’t even have sex, but instead rolled in laughter and lay atop one another tasting the next several years of our lives and falling asleep on the carpeted floor waking up with achy shoulders and overflowing hearts. I know your memory is bad: so I am writing this letter to remind you how soft your lips are, how you kiss like the drizzle once the hurricane has passed through, how you bite my bottom lip and it feels like no other feeling matters in that single instance. How nights have become dull and lonely as the first leaf of autumn’s beginning. En mi sueño soy un niño perdido / caza a través de las hojas de la noche para sus manos[5]. If only nights were filled with your laughter again: it sounded like raindrops landing in tandem on piano strings. I’ve been listening to Bob Dylan’s music for what seems like three weeks here in nostalgia’s bed. He says some people feel the rain. Others just get wet. I wish I could still dance in the rain with you; but, I know you’re afraid of storms. And yet, you were the lean to that held me out of the tar-black clouds and the sky being torn and the world stitching itself back up with light. In fact, when thunder roiled you held me tighter and that was the moment I knew I loved you. If I believed as hard as I do now, back then, when the world was simplified in the curl of your lip and the flicker of your lashes, I loved you, I would have changed. I wasn’t ready. I haven’t forgotten. I will never forget. Though it would seem: el amor es tan corto, el olvido es tan largo[6].


[1] By You, I mean the love of my life with the perpetually surprised eyes and radiance glowing from the sun housed in your mouth.

[2] I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, / in secret, between the shadow and the soul. – Pablo Neruda

[3] Shelter from the Storm – Bob Dylan

[4] Truth be told, I feel like he likes to see me clutch to something and see if I have the faith to let it be.

[5] in my dream I’m a lost child / hunting through the leaves of the night for your hands – Pablo Neruda

[6] Should you ever forget me, I will fade politely back from the light, knowing all the while it was loving you that forged me.

Samuel Fox has served as an assistant at the Union Literary Agency in New York and an intern with The Paris Review. He is a 2012 graduate of the University of the South, where he worked on staff at the Sewanee School of Letters, the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, and the University Writing Center.

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