noun

1. a piece of writing included with others in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication

Middle English (denoting a separate clause of the Apostles’ Creed): from Old French, from Latin articulus ‘small connecting part,’ diminutive of artus ‘joint.

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from I Give You My Word

Barcelona, 1981

Last night I dreamed about you. Or I guess I should say, about us. At first I see only myself, in the market and then, here, in the pension writing this letter. But just as I can see you now as I write this, I begin to see you in the dream: looking at me like you did the night you appeared at my parents’ door when you got back from Nam.  It seems I’m meant to tell you the dream.   So here goes.

I’m here, taking my morning walk through the city. I can hear the oceanic sounds of Barcelona traffic, the gossiping birds.  I move through the market feeling invisible.  I see you in my mind, yet my body—my arms, hands, belly—speaks of your absence, distance, the enormous gray cold of the Atlantic.

Something urges me forward, hinting that each man who passes might be you. He missed his flight, it says, He’s come back; He’s out there right now looking for you. I search the crowds. Up ahead, I spot another backpacker I can only see from behind. He’s American, he moves like you, I’m not sure what sends me rushing toward him. When he turns, of course, he’s a stranger. And shockingly old.  He leers at me. And I fall down the rabbit hole into darkness. It’s a long darkness, all fear.

Later, I’m back on the boulevard, searching again. It seems to be earlier than before.  And the movement around me seems enlarged and enhanced — intensely beautiful. The vendors move behind their stalls like puppeteers.  Canaries send red and blue notes into the air from their swinging cages; flies come and go between gladiolas and new cheese.  I see shoppers hurry between shade and sunlight as between good and evil. Water slants down the pavement from the fish market and soaks my shoes. I smell squid and mussels heating up under dark awnings.  I’m thinking, I need to remember this, so I can tell him.

Suddenly I’m back in Minnesota and it’s almost dark. I’m standing in the doorway of my parents’ house locked in your gaze. In the dream, what I felt that night, what I feel now becomes something I can literally see. It emanates from my heart in long bands of filtered, yellow light and enfolds us. Everything else falls away.

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