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Posts Tagged ‘love’

 

 

 

I watched it happen, the confrontation.

The one who was hurt and the one

with no inkling that harm had been done,

and my heart ached for both of them—

for all of us really—all of us fragile, all of us

witless, all of us longing to love, to be loved

for being ourselves.

 

Outside the window, the leaves

were brilliantly dying, burning auburn,

vermillion, a heart swelling show

of what it is we’ve come here to do—

to give our all and give some more,

to do it unreservedly.

 

It’s all a series of repetition, design—

the leaves, the fall, the hurt, the blame,

the confusion, the reconciliation.

It’s all a matter of pattern and letting

go, letting go of whatever we think we know

about how to give.

 

What I’m trying to say is if I have hurt you,

I’m sorry. I don’t understand my own thorns.

I think I am singing and it comes out crooked.

I think I’m supporting and it comes out cage.

There are so many mistakes in my blood,

all of them believing they’re butterflies.

 

My friend tells me the leaves in fall

are returning to their true colors—

how the necessary chlorophyll disguises

what’s really inside.

 

What I’m trying to say is look at the leaves

outside the window, see how vibrant they are?

I am trying to love like that,

every day, the colors more true.

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I was fourteen, Richard was eighteen,

and he was Romeo in the high school play.

 

He was Romeo and I was chorus, and

every song I sang, I sang for him.

 

Every song I sang, a love song.

I had never been taught any other,

 

I had never been taught to be hard,

I longed to give him everything,

 

I longed for him to want to kiss me,

to give me everything, and when

 

he kissed me, which he did, he gave

me mono. I was somehow proud,

 

was proud of getting sick because

he kissed me, as if it were a badge

 

that I was worthy of being kissed,

kissed by Richard, Richard Smith, who left me

 

shortly after, who left me crumpled, weeping

in the green cement block halls,

 

halls that rang back all my emptiness.

I didn’t know then love could end.

 

I was a girl who knew only beginnings,

a girl who trusted in happily evers,

 

a girl who wanted to be chosen. Years later

I’d learn there are many kinds of love,

 

how all of them depend on one thing.

Years later I’d learn to choose myself,

 

to show up at my own balcony,

roses and poems in hand.

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all four legs midair

the horse thrusts forward—

loving you like that

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tossing my gloves

to pull carrots with naked hands—

this, how I long to speak with you

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Hieronymus-Bosch-Wayfarer-600

written after viewing The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch, circa 1500

 

 

I have learned to love the broken world,

the holes in the roof, the shutters unhinged.

I have learned to love the tapped out barrel

and shattered panes and the stench of men.

And I, I love being a man, which is why, I suppose,

even now as I walk toward some new life,

some life as yet unknown, I turn.

I turn, but do not stop. I turn to see

the life I’ve loved, my home, my friends,

my ochre lot. And trust my feet to lead me,

trust my hidden heart. Trust the bird outside

the cage who guides me through the dust.

And though I know there will be struggle,

though I’m lost to where I’m going,

I begin to fall in love again, this time

with the unknowing.

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Misty

 

 

And sometimes when I move

at the edge of a greatness—

a lake or a sea or a mountainside—

my insignificance thrills me

and the largest of my sadnesses

dwindles smaller than the space

between grains of sand

and in that moment,

knowing my place,

comes a love so enormous

I can love anyone, anyone,

even myself.

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One Blooming

 

looking outside myself

for my dream, when all along

it takes my shape

 

 

Thank You Letter to My Lungs

 

No matter the shame,

the fear, the loss, the pain,

you bring the outside in

and then share what’s inside

with everything else,

 

and rhythmically, quietly,

hidden and tireless,

you stich me,

unite me

to the cloth of all that is.

 

How do I sometimes

ignore the communion?

And you breathe on,

barely audible prayer,

weaving me into here, here, here.

 

 

 

One Reason for Clarity

 

 

playing hide and seek

with myself, I always win

I always lose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lesson

 

 

I said to love I am lost

and she gave me

 

a ladder, a leaf,

a crooked blue door,

an alley I’d never

traveled before,

 

a room with no ceiling

three circles, some green,

bouquet of uncertainty

scent of spring,

 

a small red window

a straight backed chair.

Still lost? she said.

Now share.

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Arrangement

 

 

 

In my heart, a mandolin

just waiting to be played—

there are music sheets,

ignore them. Doesn’t matter

if you know how to play.

What matters is you try.

What matters is you practice

tuning the strings

until you find the way

to make them sing.

What matters is that

we both know there’s

music in there just waiting

to be found and

your hands are curious,

tender.

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Like every other day, today

it is apparent that only love

will save us. Not in the grandiose

abstract way, but in the alarming

specific way. As in forgiveness, now.

As in choosing to hug instead

of fighting back. As in taking

three deep breaths before saying

something we regret. It saves us

from thirsting in the desert of our lives,

but only if we save it first by

choosing it, now in this moment

of angry words, now in this moment

of clenched thoughts, now in

this moment when we’d rather

taste venom but instead, we

pour love into our cup and

bring it to our lips and drink

and drink until once again

it is only love that makes sense,

only love that refills the cup.

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And again I recall how small we are,

how ninety nine percent of all species

that have ever lived are extinct,

how thin our stripe in geologic time,

how remarkable that we are here at all.

And suddenly all that matters

is that I love you—and what are the odds?

How many billion years in the making,

this rush of gratitude, this burgeoning

joy, this thrill in the sheer Cenozoic luck

to feel the concurrent burning and quenching,

the simultaneous bite and salve, the Quaternary

gift of thriving and failing at the same time?

If it feels as if it’s taken forever to get to this place,

lover, it has. Think trilobite. T-rex. Cave bear.

Wooly mammoth. Think how little time

has passed, and how lucky, how lucky we are.

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