Sometimes, when we stopped in the doorway of a room, one of us entering, the other leaving, we would step into each other’s arms, as if it were a chance meeting and we didn’t live together in such a small house. Other times, in the twilight of late afternoon, lying next to each other in bed near the window with the half-closed shutters, she would turn and face me, staring expectantly, both of us rendered silent by the unspeakable. At such times I wanted to bend towards her and tenderly press my lips upon her eyelids. I knew she would close them and offer them to me with same trust and wonder that made her stare speechlessly at me for so long. But an old superstition that to kiss the eyes presages farewell would halt me, and afraid that I would lose her, I forbade myself this pleasure.
So I searched for other parts of her to kiss. Perhaps the cupped palm of her hand. The slope where her neck met her shoulder, or further up, below the ear. Her high forehead, untroubled as she slept. Maybe along her side, from her breasts down to her waist. There must have been many such kisses, but in my memory they are all eclipsed by the two I could never allow myself to give her.
Likewise I have forgotten all the things we said to each other, and remember only what was left unsaid. If there are words which hasten us to our last goodbye, I have never learned what they are. I was not so careful with my words as I was with my kisses.
I lost her nonetheless, despite my precautions. The doorways, the half-closed shutters, the dim afternoon light, everything is as it was then, only more so now that she is gone. I search among it all for the words I may have said when silence was more fitting, for the silences I should have broken, and I remember her eyes, the eyes I never kissed.