He is a vague comment in response to her unvoiced question.
He is a lake seen from a distance on a bright day, a reflection of blue sky, a rippling surface of light, mesmerizing, tempting to dive into, if only she could gauge his depth without jumping in.
She is a room with many windows, all draped with curtains of varying patterns, colors, and weight. Sometimes a closed but unbolted door materializes in a blank wall. He seldom sees the door, and when he does, stands at the threshold, but never enters or knocks.
He is a gibbous moon shrouded in cloud, luminous but eluding plain sight. She never could tell whether he is waxing or waning.
He is a butterfly alighting on a kitten’s nose, fluttering his wings and then flitting away. The kitten gives chase and runs up a tree. She doesn’t know how to climb down.
He is a sailboat moved by wind and wave, and sometimes paddling. She is a safe harbor, but he doesn’t need a wharf, only the open sea and an occasional white-sand beach.
She is an urban center built for business, all pavement and parking and high-rise offices. He is a quake that shatters glass, ruptures concrete, topples iron and steel.
He is both the calm and storm of her grey, unchanging skies.
He is a classic written in a language she does not speak. She is familiar with the story. She knows how it will end. She tries to read the text. There are times when she thinks that she can understand the words. But the intricacies of plot and character, the nuances of imagery, are all lost on her.
They are countries on a map in a changing world. On paper, the demarcations of territory are clear. But the land moves. Boundaries shift. There are disputed rocks and seas. Sometimes, an undocumented traveler sneaks across the border, bearing contraband goods and the luggage of past lives.