Take the air and breathe it,
don’t clamp your jaw shut
just because you have sinned
and feel neon caterpillars
crawl over your shoulders –
we are ecosystems, not
bone-dry crabshells whistling
cleanly on an empty shore.
I never said I felt butterflies
because it sounded like it should
feel nice, and I only ached
with guilt and fear, even before
whatever it was had happened.
Orange fritillaries with gorgeous
golden webbing over wings
were too pretty to grace my gut.
Cats spend most of their lives
asleep, and I wonder about
negative space, whether waking
hours are the break, the gap,
and none of this is as deep
and radioactive as we like to think.
If the great sad ocean cave in us
is a dream, a blink-and-gone.
You sew silver linings in my inky clouds
Make diamonds from the rain
Build bridges over stormy waters
And take away the pain
It takes some getting used to
This having love on tap
Pure and unfiltered
Not some chlorinated crap
I sometimes feel I’m drowning
Lost at sea without a boat
Then I see you, love
And remember I can float.
I have the thought & feeling arising
that “no-one understands”
that “no-one is coming” to take my hand
& hold it softly
& take me in their arms
& say “I am here” & “it doesn’t have to be this way”
The tears fall
& “this is probably your early abandonment wound” the voices say
compounded by living in an isolating-society’s way
Compounded by the impossible single mother load
& the sensitive, empathic, caring, yet apparently boundary-lacking mode
So I sit here & write & let go & just take the next step
Hoping it will get better & flow, hoping I will be heard
Hoping for the comfort, through touch or word
Writing it out is helping, seeing what’s here
Slowing down & noticing what’s around me
What’s really here on the ground
& what is my warped perception & projected fear
Maybe the sky loves me?
Maybe the trees do too?
Maybe that chirping bird & solid earthy ground
& the beating of my heart & the breathing of my breath
& the feel of my skin as my hands touch
are here for me too?
I have built a special place for you
in the corner of my mind.
Where I can simultaneously feel
happy and forlorn.
I go there when I want to be alone
with you. We sit in the shade of a cherry blossom tree.
Scintillating sun flickering through the branches.
Monarch butterflies flit through the air,
as pink petals fall like snowdrops.
There is a shallow stream
burbling over rocks, carving through a vale
of lush, verdant grass, abundant
with iridescent wildflowers.
Your head is on my shoulder;
I can smell honeysuckle in your hair,
feel your heart beating
against my rib cage.
Warmth radiates through your skin
into my fingertips. Stroking the soft down
of your arm. Breathing you in.
This is the closest I can get
without crawling inside of you.
I close my eyes and feel the heat of our star
on my face. Everything is ecstasy.
And we stay in paradise forever. Or,
until it’s time for me to go.
And I leave you there,
beneath our tree, shielding your eyes
from the sun, waving me goodbye.
And I go back to reality,
where you are incognizant
to my existence.
Every time I look at you,
I think of the miracles that brought you to me.
Maybe they’re tragedies to you.
But each one, you survived.
And every survival, every tooth and nail,
Every bit of blood and sweat,
Brought you closer to me.
You have been waylaid, beaten, bruised,
You have bled out. You have died, you have lived,
You have tried to die and not made it
And cursed the gods that kept you here.
I thank them every day.
You have spent months on hospital wards,
Nights on stone floors. Days in rehab.
Hours in handcuffs, hours in tears.
Every one of those endless hours brought you towards me.
You have been at the hands of so many
Who did not deserve your spirit, your skin.
You have suffered needlessly, so needlessly,
And yet you got closer to me with every heartbreak.
Every single bruise that healed,
That you will never wear again,
Ran the sand timer down.
And now I know you as I know you.
I know you as mine, as mine, as mine.
As precious as each and every of those people should’ve treated you.
But I will make up for that.
I will spend every hour of my life
Making up for that.
I will be the refuge you have deserved since you were eleven years old.
I will teach you that scars and clumsy hands,
That body fat and damaged teeth
Don’t affect your glow, because you
Glow like the sun to me.
You are a history
Written on a thousand pages
And I am so proud, so thankful
That I am in the rest.