A Most Familiar Day

Something has changed today.
The cars are hushed
The breeze is bold
The sun is diluted for my eyes to hold.
And I can smell the chlorine, the sap, and the fertilizer.
I can hear the fountain, the conversation, the bees.
It tastes like a childhood morning, full of nothing to do and going outside with a handful of sunblock.
Something has changed.
I recognize the tune to which these branches sway, it’s a day I’ve lived before, with you.
It feels like today you love me, like today, you’re sure.
The sun is kissing me violently in place of you.
The polish on my toes is crimson and chipped kinda like the love we hold
But today something has changed.
Maybe it’s in your heart, or our color, in the air, but I’m confident I can feel a change.
The good kind!
The kind where my heart is dancing and singing and fluttering and skipping,
Where I feel gentler to people, and they are kinder right back.
A change that makes everything come alive.
I can hear the fork being put down after a big bite of salad in the apartment across the courtyard.
And my neighbor has opened his door to let the new puppy out before she makes a mistake.
The squirrel who just stole my sourdough loaf now braves through the loose palm trees.
And a tall woman walks two black labs pissing and yapping to the jingle of the beat tied to their collars.
Everything is a little freer today.
I can hear a tow truck hustle a broke down chevy across the back bay next to a turtle who’s looking to have lost his way.
Someone’s teacher is taking off on a flight to San Fransisco for the weekend
While a couple bikes across the cobblestones as they’ve come to do every Saturday since they lost their home
because today is the most familiar day.
A day where if everything hasn’t changed, I know something is.
Something has.
Something has really changed
And I wonder, can you feel it?
Have you enjoyed the sound of this morning, or is it still reluctantly calling you?
Won’t you listen?
Won’t you carry on back to me through the energy and conversation surging through the streets?
I know you can hear the footsteps and the dishwashing happening right outside your door
You hear the horns and sirens, baby’s crying and TV’s laughing.
Now look outside, watch the stray cats gleam in the sun as the nearby children disturb them
Roll down your window, smell the city’s stench as you drive, and let it remind you of when you were passing through to me.
Of touching this day with me,
Because today is the perfect day to forgive all you have yet to forgive.
To remember all you have tried to forget.
I can almost hear the forming of your voice come through every cadence of this afternoon
Not one sound too loud, all remain at a whisper, waiting for you to finally shout,
“I STILL LOVE YOU.”
Will you do it?
Will, you finally take the stage and profess your love as you did today,
on a day like this,
but before.
I’m waiting and listening
I’m watching and praying
That your voice seeps through before this day comes to an end,
Yet again,
Like before.

This altar requires an offering but I can’t burn for you…

Our waves stole the show, but the wind subsided.
Pieces of glass cut into the vastness of the shore until we were washed.
Now they exist deep beyond, they’ve been given back to the sea, but our offering has been rejected.
Our false accord rebuked.
Forced to abandon the threshold that was forged and drift towards the ones we belong to.
Although my soil is combined with your flood, I still don’t know if it is holy ground.
But should it require blood for us to sanctify this land, I’ve killed off every depravity that still remained, plucked the roots and pierced their hearts.
And should it demand grace to purify our kingdom, I’ve kissed every sin that was birthed out of dereliction, dropped every burden and let go of every scar.
What sacrifice will you bring to this altar, my Adam?
Tell me about the wilderness you’ve had to prevail, the range of view it has granted you.
I crave knowledge about what life you’ve come to find can breathe far beyond your depths and that which drains you to survive.
Recall to me the stories of how you wailed over the humanity of such evil and reasoned for it to stay.
Bemoan what’s been banished from your Eden, which offerings you have brought to lay before our king.
And should his ocean wash it away and drown you out, I will question why you’ve neglected the gift of so much time.
Is your rebirth only to be reached through such ablutions? Such faintheartedness…
Or will a merciful flame dance on top of all seven seas, receiving yours and my journey, blessing the benediction of rebirth.
But if all has remained and you’ve only acquired blood with no benevolence, nothing will be gained from such the offering, unless the sacrifice be my body.
Less, you cut me open and lay me in the tide as the atonement for all your weariness and pain, casting me back into the deep to brave it alone.
So my love, before I approach this altar, look me in my eyes and face my longing soul,
Is it I who will burn, or will we finally be born again, reunited with one another, void of any fear of what corrected us before?
Because I can’t burn for you, I didn’t shatter alone.

Accepting

“What kind of day is today going to be?”

I spoke to myself directly and succinctly, one that didn’t really warrant a response because, in a sense, I wasn’t asking, but demanding. I was desperately trying to call it out, whatever it was (it was you), and reel it in before it could suffocate the day. But just like a woman who fails to exercise her intuition frequently, I would be ambushed. You seeped through my defenses and consumed my imagination. Which knowing me, is much worse than my thoughts. Thoughts reflect reality, and I live under the surface. Today you lived there with me. I wouldn’t quite say I surrendered, but I didn’t defend myself against remembering. Don’t expect me to tell you what I had seen or what I feel about it. That level of self-deprecation no longer suits me. But most innocently, it was sweet. And that’s what drags me down, the good of it all. Those pieces that stand out and irritate my gaze in the most calming way. In the way, irritation arises briefly after you’ve broken the single most beautiful item you’d been saving since you were little. Because what gives it the weight to fall, what pushes it over the edge, is time. The longer something lasts, the more time we spend finding reasons to allow its absence to break our hearts (whether it’s worth the heartache or not) and who knows such answers to the matters of a wounded soul. But that is why I mustered up the authority to call out my truth because it never lies.

December Eighteenth

I have to let you go. It’s essential for me, almost crucial that I have you. And if I must give my love over to the possibility, uncertainty will hold my heart. I have to guard my soul against doubt. From the inevitable worry of your well being without me and fear of your resentment. Every time I see your car pass by, its a sad truth knowing that you’re not in it. Each time life becomes bearable, I must let go of the desire to bear life with you. You are locked in a tiny wooden parcel etched in gold with “prayer” written on its brim; that is where you must remain. Free from my grasp and my decision. It must be at the will of God that he plants me next to you. It must be at the will of time to decide when good enough can be sustained. You’re good enough for me. I must lock the dreams of forgiveness, rebirth, and tenacious loving for its moment of fruition. To trust in the timing of the one who holds our lives together. And should it never come to pass, should you decide you can’t love me and should the God we serve speak his final say, still my prayer would have come true. Because I will love you forever, I will always love you – despite you.

Leaving home

The further I stray from you, the more I can love you.
I need for my heart to remain unhinged,
to fail at love and discover a new way to let love in.
I need to search for you in every man I come across,
to convince them to love me so I can convince me that I am lovable despite what you’ve preached.
I need to be lovable.
I need to love myself,
despite your judgment or the people who stand on your side.
I need to be okay with you not being okay.
And that has been the most challenging decision of my life, choosing me.
And that has been the most difficult decision you’ve had to accept, the absence of me.
I need to be wrong about love
I need a loss to deepen my understanding of tenderness.
But I don’t know if your lack will bring me back to us or simply be the loss of you.
I need to find out; to be absolutely sure.
I need to know who I became with you isn’t who I am,
that I can become someone without you.
And if I must love someone else to see who I can be, that’s what I will do, to be more for you, more for me.
If you are my forever, I will always return.
You can never get lost on your way back home.

Dear Winter Love

I remember thinking so much about the cold, how winter began us, and brought our end. I remember thinking about how strong I was choosing to stand outside all alone. It became clear that the overwhelming sense of ennui that existed even in the joy of summer was you. That all this time, I was my own passion, prosperity. It confused you how I stumbled out into the cold, naked and unafraid, wild, and so sure. I realize more and more every day that I really am in no need of you. You’ve always known this (my heart is still snagged on my sleeve). It seems you had this innate need to control me. Your prideful attempts to belittle my glory are what made me leave in the end.

The freedom of your soul is now hitched to my presence because love is war, only one of us can indeed be free. When you love, you are always considering someone’s freedom over your own – but not you. You just questioned everything, demanding answers to your interrogations and only sifting through the revelations you decided to accept.
Sometimes I would pray you found someone fit to love you, and on particularly difficult days, I’d push you right into their arms. You meant everything to me, but the minute we ended our commitment, you divorced our memories and fulfilled my self proclaimed destiny: to choose me – because you never kept me warm, my winter love.