Remembering to Forget a Former Lover
The ghost of a lost lover follows you everywhere - -never granting you more than a moment of peace. His face emerges from the rock, the hill, the amount; his eyes thrust through clouds, doors, and spatulas, warped by excessive heat. The brick laying in the middle of the sidewalk echoes his jaw-line and the twisted tree branch scratching your bedroom window reminds you of his nose. The ghost of a lost lover never disappears.
He may fade temporarily when a new beau conquers your heart and mind; he may be kind and take a sort of apparition's sabbatical and diffuse into the wind and sky just long enough for you to love again - -but he will refuse to be forgotten. Occasionally, you will see him shine through your new partner's eyes or you may notice a glimmer of his smile dancing on your new sweetheart's lips. It can happen at anytime, in fact. Your new sweetheart may be sitting at the breakfast table, innocently jabbing a slice of bacon with his fork or munching on a burnt bagel when suddenly - -there he is! That man of long ago! That eyebrow - -that arched eyebrow!
Of course you never disclose this revelation to your new lover. After all, it may hurt his feelings. He might think that you're secretly longing for a man from the past - -which you are - -or worse yet, he might remember one of his own old lovers. So you watch your new partner sip his coffee and scrape the egg yolk off of his plate. You may allow yourself to reminiscence for a minute, but stop when your new honey looks up at you and asks in that sweet, thoughtful voice, "What's the matter?"
You shake your head distractedly and curse that man from long ago - -for abandoning you, or for cheating on you, or for suddenly "coming out of the closet" - -or you curse yourself for letting him go, but you brush the thought off and proceed to heating milk for the children or replacing the cat's water - -only to notice later that your daughter has the same intonation as your old lover or that your cat blinks the same way as that man you wished you'd forget.
But you can never forget him. You can never let him go because the ghost of a lost lover follows you everywhere.