ALL THEY NEED
by Tari Gwaemir
"You shimmer like words I barely hear."
They have never said, "I love you." Four years since he returned to Japan, older, quieter, harder; four years spent side by side in a companionship so close and casual that they seem incapable of transmuting it to something more. But they look at each other with their hearts in their hands, and though their fingers never touch, they are less than a hair's width apart.
He does not consider her his ideal of feminine beauty, nor does he think her perfect. What he does know is that they can sit together on the swings in the old neighborhood playground on a winter morning and watch the first snowflakes fall. He does not need to say,
Isn't it beautiful?
She does not need to answer,
He does not need to wonder,
Who is there to notice the unique shape of each and every crystal?
She does not need to reply,
We are, for that is magic: to notice what passes others by.
Instead, they smile shyly at each other, rocking back and forth on those children's swings, and Sakura sticks out the tip of her tongue to catch a drop of snow. He lets his hand fall and brush against hers; that is all they need.