Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

The effort of the imagination is to turn the boundary into a horizon because there is no end point for you. The boundary says, Here and no further. The horizon says, Welcome.
            —Barry Lopez, Horizons (short film by Jeremy Seifert)

There are so many boundaries in me,
so many limitations, prisons,
places where a line has been drawn—
perhaps by another, perhaps by me.
The lines say, Stop.
The lines say, Don’t be curious.
They say, Make yourself small. Now smaller.
But imagination is the big pink eraser
that rubs out the lines,
smears and disappears them.
Sometimes, it’s more like a tear—
a small rip in the known
that bids me look through the lines
as if peeking through a curtain.
And sometimes the imagination
takes a line and bends it, twists it
like a clown with a balloon,
until what I thought was a boundary
becomes bird, becomes crown, becomes
flower. Or it turns the line perpendicular
so what I thought was a deadline
becomes path. I want to listen
for the voices beyond the boundaries,
want to open to what I can’t yet see.
I want to hear the welcome of the horizon
and, like a bell calling me home, let it lead me.    

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There are many kinds of love, and I have lived some of them.

—Katherine Gallagher, Distances



You’re too restrictive,

he shouts at you,

and the fist of his voice

connects with your most tender parts.

There was a time

when loving him looked

like holding him, letting

the small question of his body

soften into yours. There

was a time when loving him

looked like kissing a knee

or playing Monopoly

a third time or singing

to him in the dark. How

easy it was to love then.

Now, love is a war

with no winners,

ammo without a gun,

a wall you wish you could

tear down. That’s right,

you say. I’m restrictive.

That’s my job.

He stomps away

and slams his bedroom door,

leaving you standing

alone with your horrible,

fierce love.


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First time I saw a badger
it was nowhere near as pretty as you
with your long honey hair and your slender hips,
but just like you it was all spit and snarl and vicious hiss.
I was so curious, I got closer.
Shows what I know about boundaries.
Yeah, I did, I got close enough to see the points
on its sharp yellow teeth,
got close enough to feel its body pull back before the charge,
I could smell its hostile stench.
So you mighta thunk I’d a learned to step back from a badger when I see one,
those unmistakable sharp dark eyes and those meat-ripping claws,
those tenacious jaws that lock and won’t let go,
‘specially when I don’t have a big stick or a can
of pepper spray, nor a gun, not even thick skin, just
this fool open hand that reaches out like some frisky little wide-eyed mouse
as if to say, hey, don’t you think we could be friends?

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