Most of us do not remember the first time we learned our shapes.
Until you budded into my life, I thought that I knew all the circles, squares, and rectangles – the rigidly defined personalities, those with a set number of sides, those who are predictable, parallel, familiar. I look back on the cast of my past and few rise above the plane of two dimensions. Those rarities, the pop-up cutouts from my storybook, they are more than a shape on a page. They have planes. They have dimension. Above all, they cast shadows.
Then there’s you.
You defy shape. You are being drawn out in front of my eyes, the lines of your soul gliding across the canvas of my days, a calligraphist’s ink absorbed by the thirsty parchment of my desert scape.
I see a new side of you in each word you share with me, in the tautly pulled skin against your cheeks when you smile, at the purse of your lips when you do not realize I am mesmerized by their movements. The planes of you, each made of a different material, another substance, they’re revealed each moment we spend with the other.
I wonder how many exist, these planes of you.
Some of your surfaces reflect my gaze, showing me the self I already know. I look at myself through you, trying not to become unnerved or amused with the familiarity. I see in you pieces of myself I have not looked at in years. The planes of you hold a tantalizing design underneath a glossy lacquer, so when I look at them not only am I discovering you, but in stepping back to notice the way the light sparks on that polished sheen, I glimpse myself, too. “Unreal,” I whisper without words.
I wake in the morning, thinking that it may be the day when I see you whole. Much to my elation, the day of knowing all of you has not yet come. In the most bared, honest realm of my being, I hope it never will. Mystery must last. I’d rather live our days out believing I will never see all you are – only this puzzlement can bring me bliss.
At each shift of perspective, what you show me and how I see you, I learn you. I learn you are magnetic, mysterious. The more of you I learn, the more I desire to be taught. I am discontent with merely knowing. I am enrapt by the act of studying you. I am filled with an urge to keep turning, spinning, holding you up to the light, tossing you up in the air, bringing you close, to see how many more ways you can hold me captivated by your existence.
The string on which you hang belongs to no known coordinates, lateral nor long. You are a free-spinning, gyroscopic form, flashing in rapid movement – optically-deceptive sphere. But, but when you are still – when the wee hours’ quiet has calmed your breath to a whimper softly swept across my arm – the plane of your unconscious takes face, melting away the intricacies of all the others. You wash into the hidden planes of my being, and in that hushed twilight lies the site of our amalgamation.