by Lynn Beighley

We walk in the rain over gray rocks, through the ruins of grand castles or ancient gravestones or rope bridges meant for stalwart salmon fishermen in their family sweaters. I try not to trip. You, of course, your feet never touch the stones. Your step is so light, I forget you're with me. You've become a half-deflated balloon tied to my wrist. 

Did I untie you? Because, when I see the first light of a new day igniting a tomb older than Stonehenge, yes, older than the pyramids, I turn my head and you're not in sight. I couldn't engineer such flowing light once a year, ushering it through S-turns, even with your help, were you willing to give it. I wonder if you're in the gift shop, fingering brightly colored scarves or recreations of mystic Celtic patterns fashioned in cheap metal jewelry that would give me a rash. 

Oh, later I ask you what you think those ancient patterns mean. We both know you have a dozen ideas, ridiculous through sublime. You don't share any of them with me. You ignore me, although you do whisper, when I'm looking out at the sheep and the stones and the green grass, you tap my shoulder and wonder when I'll buy a shot or two of Jameson or Bushmills, you don't much care if not knowing the right drink gets me into trouble. One corner of the straight line of your mouth twitches twice, and that's the most expressive you've been in weeks. Thing is, I don't know if it's a smile or a smirk.