Posts Tagged ‘opposites’

You’re hesitating, says John from behind his mask.

Each time I invite you to strike, you wait. And he’s right.

Each time before I extend and lunge, I drop my sword.

It’s crazy. I tell myself not to do it, but every time

he motions to strike, instinct says: drop the sword.

John, I say, I’ve trained myself not to be aggressive.

When people are vulnerable, I do everything I can

to make them feel safe. It helps that John

is gentle. It helps that he beams at me a genuine smile.

Don’t think of it as aggression, he says. If someone

you love gives you the signal to touch them,

aren’t you always ready to meet them then?

And I am. Think of it as an invitation to touch.

I wonder how many stories I’ve hardwired into me.

Thou shalt not hurt. Thou shalt not strike.

Thou shalt not stab another with a sword.

I wonder that I struggle so instinctively now

when this is so clearly a game.

John drops his sword. I extend, I lunge.

I touch his chest through his silver vest

with the tip of my sword, then retreat.

Good, he says. Good. Again. Again.

Is this the way we learn all the rules

we have written for ourselves?

By breaking them. Is this the way

we might choose to meet our opponents?

By loving them.

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You think it’s so much better to be petal,

pink flower, the perfumed bloom that lures


the bee. You with your flutter and blush.

Not all of us can be soft. Not all of us


can be beauty, and you have that role

all wrapped up. You with your tender buds,


your loveliness splayed. But I was not

made that way. Was made prick. Was


made barbed. Was made snappish

and piercing and sharp. Was made


fierce. Was made lance. Was made

to take no chances with survival.


There is glory in defense. Everything

that touches me remembers. I’m the one


that defines the scene. How would you know

your beauty without me?



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bringing the far
in close,

a reconciliation
of opposites,

that is what he said
he was doing

the white cloud,
the dark branch

connected on canvas,
a meeting of what tumbles

and what rises, though
everything eventually falls

and then rises,
how could I not

think of you and me
a far and a close

still searching
for the frame that

can hold us both

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God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.

I am stone and I am river.
I am here and I am gone.
I am the apple and the hunger.
I am lost and I am found.
I am harlot and the pure one.
I am chosen. I’m tossed out.
I am mystery and revelation.
I am certainty and doubt.
I’m the one you love,
you hate me, too,
I am leaf and the space
where the leaf once was.
I am thief and I restore things.
I am the anchor and the wave.
And I am the song, the song
that stays in your mind
long after you’ve told it to leave.
And I am the silence, the silence
you welcome and the silence you fill
with anything, anything
just to keep the silence away.
I am not myself.
I am more you than I am me.
And we, we are flying,
we are flying, love,
we are the sky, we are the wings.

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