Love letters are healing for the writer, recipient, and reader. May this letter offer healing and celebration of my partner on his 44th year.
I wanted to give you a gift for your birthday, but your preternatural satisfaction with what you already have makes it hard to buy something. Still, I want to celebrate you as you make your 44th circle around the sun. I want to celebrate you because you don’t like me to make a big deal about your birthday. But I think you’re a big deal.
My first offering to you comes in my willingness to exhaust myself again in traveling to Mexico. It’s no small thing, because our time in this country almost killed us. Check the records – we were moments away from dissolving into the dust the shopkeepers here sweep away each morning. I’m so glad that we remembered that we want to live, and live well.
But that’s not the only gift I’ll offer you today. As you already know, I’m a woman full of good assets. But my best asset is my voice. So that is how I will celebrate you today.
I must acknowledge that all good assets have the potential to cause great harm, and my voice is no exception. You have often been on the receiving end of my curses, probably more than most others in my life. I wish I could remove them, but all witches know that curses can’t be reversed, only softened.
So allow me to smooth out the ends of this life we’ve shared. Let me drape silk over the parts that have become dry and frayed as we’ve tumbled through the fingers of the gods. Allow me to honor you the way I always have, but sometimes have forgotten to say out loud.
I’ll start by honoring your eyes. Those demin blues were what inspired me to calmly set fire to an old life I thought I wanted. We watched the houses and forests between us burn to ash. And when the ground cooled enough to walk toward one another, you told me that our four blue eyes could cause a lot of trouble. And goddess knows, we have.
It’s a good thing I like trouble (yes, it’s true, despite my protests, I get great pleasure from a wild kind of life). But I don’t just like any kind of trouble – I like the way you do trouble. Your style is fearless, courageous, breath steady, chest broad. You walk willingly toward sure destruction with a smile and a swaha. I’ve seen you die a hundred times in nine years and yet you return to me with hands that have grown stronger from the fire.
Oh, your hands. Do you notice how I have always melted in your grip? Very few people in my life can make me want to soften like you do. Your whisper is like a chant: softer, softer, even softer. Because of you I dance as delicately as a spider’s thread in the wind.
I could go on. I could tell you about the fiery way your lips roll over mine, the tickle of your chest hair against my cheeks, the angles in your face that draw me in like a work of art. I could tell you that even though we joke that we would have never made it this far if not for our daughter and the act that created her, we both know that there’s something more keeping us here.
But I’ll stop now, because I know you don’t like me to make a big deal about your birthday. And besides, it’s almost time for your cake, and with the cake, the wish. But before you bow toward that flame, let me remind you that the only desire you’ve ever had is that we who get to be near you are freed to be the truest versions of ourselves. And that wish has already come true.
Oh baby, you shouldn’t have.
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