of peaks and paper dolls

I have been thinking about you, and how you slipped into quiet and shadow, living a life I don't know anything about anymore. 

In the peaks and valleys that is our friendship, you once wrote out of the blue, I think it's time for another peak. But then you disappeared again, before I could even find my climbing ropes. And I was ready to scale whatever mountain face it took, to see yours again. 

Now the only evidence I have of your continued existence is in photos of her, where you are like the trimmings cut away from a paper chain doll. You're not what I'm supposed to look at. But you are the context and the frame and the source. She wouldn't be unfolding prettily across the world like that, an accordion of grace and youth, if you didn't fold yourself in two, four, eight to give her that world.

And I understand it more than you know.

But peaks are worth the effort to climb and make for beautiful pictures, too, if you can tear yourself away from the shape of her long enough to remember.