To say the innocent word

She suddenly turns and says, “Never again. Isn’t it strange to know that never, never again?”, and smiles at me. Why does it hurt our hearts to see an abandoned pair of shoes? Or a half-drunk glass, a word that someone forgot or that was never even said, a way to touch the forehead that no longer exists – anything like that, abandoned. Why does it hurt if someone smiles so weakly, asking “but never never ever?”. Yeah, never is always so strange. I do not know another name for tenderness.

Piet Mondrien, White Rose in a Glass, 1921.

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