old man’s note
i believe it was winter
when i finally got my Ravel concert ticket.
a special day to celebrate.
i still had a few hours to go somewhere
or do something before the concert.
there was a bookstore across the street
owned by an old man who looks like Bruckner.
the same old bookstore where i got my first Otto Klemperer LP.
i believe i had a grocery list that day
but i decided to go to the bookstore first
hoping to find a Huidobro or Pissarro letters.
and besides, i longed for the musty smell in books and vinyls.
i took the same route inside:
vinyl section, poetry and literature section, art section;
but that time i stopped at philosophy section.
and thumbing through the pages of a hardbound,
grey fainted, jacketless book
a bookmark. no. not a bookmark.
but a smudged grocery receipt.
it appeared to be hurriedly folded
but, something was written at the back of the receipt:
“to my wife, who has weakened over the years.”
i don’t remember how long i stood still
in front of that wailing wall of books.
i don’t remember what book i was holding.
was it camus? sartre? or kafka?
but never will i forget those words.
never will i forget that painful silence
as if i was at the foot of the cross
waiting for God’s last breath.
for a moment i thought, should i buy the book?
should i keep the note?
should i tell Bruckner about it?
or should i place it back to the shelves
and give respect to one’s prayer note?
how can i forget such expression of love
that is unheard, unsaid.
to continue to love unceasingly
from youth to old age.
for to remain to your beloved is
more than a receipt of love.
wherever they are right now,
i believe they are together.
someday i will grow old and weak
but i will remain beside my beloved-
because to love her is like the first day of