The pain of seeing something beautiful.

Is layered as such, the first layer of it being thick, of substance, I can’t say which sort, but of being matter and matterful, or rather, a person for whom I have spent a great deal of time and love, and this layer would be this very time and love, in whatever physical form it may take shape.

Then there are many layers of something else, everything else, the world, for example, or more likely simply a space of time or geography or perhaps a curtain or a collared shirt or a person or several, various degrees of people and objects.

The last layer is the something beautiful, which lays itself down quietly on top of all these layers, none of which were waiting for this to happen, except that only by the happenstance of the arrival of this layer are the other layers actualized as such; a distance, a thickness, a slightly twitching texture is created between the first and last layers, a measurable distance that surfaces out of nowhere but an internal and external longing for a presence or good word.

“11.16.2003” from Texture Notes (Letter Machine Editions, 2010). Reprinted with the permission of the author. All rights reserved.