Faith

I was spoken for,

I told you no.

As the hope drained out of your eyes,

I felt regret tinge in my heart.

I wondered if you saw it.

 

Then I was just me.

You knew but didn’t say.

You stayed my friend,

my support,

my rock.

Because you knew.

Your faith was stronger than my doubts,

Stronger than my indecision,

Stronger than me.

You had faith in me and my heart.

You had given me yours, without asking for more.

You had faith I would realize,

I would hand you my heart in time.

You were right.

And I envied your faith.

Your faith in me

Your faith in God

Your faith in love

Your faith in miracles.

A faith I had never had,

But I started to learn it from you.

For it took faith to hand you my heart,

before you left me for good.

To trust that even over 8,000 miles,

you were keeping it close, keeping it safe.

And to have faith

that despite the obstacles,

I would see you again.

The days are long.

The distance is hard.

The space between us sometimes seems

insurmountable.

But you taught me faith.

And it is your heart that beats in my chest

to remind me,

that sometimes you just have to close your eyes

and jump.

The Stars

The night falls like a comforter pulled up and over the sun.
A lazy slow night as the light fades away. Another day gone.
One by one, the stars slowly began to emerge and light the path home.
He sent us
They seemed to say to me in their twinkling.
Daylight broke and we were no longer needed there.
So he sent us to you, he who cannot walk you home, has sent us to guide and keep you safe.
Another day passed over from around the globe.
A gift to you from your lover who stands in the rising sun
to send you the moon and stars
who greets them every evening to ask;
is she well?
The moon and the stars are my guides and my love,
until the day I can follow them home to you.

Home That Was

What is the word for home

that is no longer “home”?

No longer a base, a fortress

or a regular destination.

But once, it was.

It was

Where your dreams were planted

and your life was

changed, once and again, and again,

shaped and molded and pushed and prodded,

challenged and changed.

The place that was once your sanctuary

and is now…

what?

Quiet.

A place of memories, old familiarities.

New faces, new storefronts, new routines.

New. Different. Changed.

But yet the same.

Same blinking stop light, same broken harbor, bridge under construction.

It once was home.

Now?

A place of myth, nostalgia, the place that was,

A placebo, a pattern, a reflex.

Home that was.

The salt air smells the same.

Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful

I don’t care.

Tell me I’m brilliant,

Tell me I frighten you,

Tell me something about my

eyes that isn’t lovely.

Or better yet,

Don’t.

Tell me how you notice that I notice

everything.

Tell me you love watching me work,

watching my mind untangle the knots

and people I wrangle daily.

Don’t tell me I’m sexy in cargo shorts,

That my headset hair is hot.

Haven’t you noticed?

I don’t care.

I don’t want to be beautiful.

I don’t care about pretty.

Anyone can be pretty.

Beauty is not a thing to achieve,

is not what I have worked so hard for,

it is not what I want.

And the more you tell me I’m

beautiful,

before you tell me I’m

brave,

The less I want it.

The less I want you.

I Am Not Made For Poetry

I am not made for poetry.

My prose will not break down to pieces,

hit the rhythm just right, to hell with rhyme.

The abstract, the limerick, it does nothing for me.

Couplets annoy me and the words are never quite… so

how then do you measure the beatings of a human heart

that races as you approach?

I have no clever witticisms for the color of your eyes

or the color of my warming face. Is there a word for

the color of the space between us? I would call it a

lonely, empty, a translucent shade of gray

keeping a chaste space between our colorful lives.

What a rainbow we would make. Or a rich earthy

brown set for our seeds to grow.

What seeds would we lay? A love and future? A wild growth

of our shared lines of a madman and a lady with a pen.

Quite a garden for characters like us. What stories we could write.

But not poetry.

No, I was not built for poetry.

The Moment Before

Have you ever noticed the night sky at that breath before dawn? What was black and endless has been shot through with the first hint of day break. It’s not black at all, a moody rolling purple, a navy blue, a slow olive green. The green overtakes and lightens the mood. The world is holding its breath before dawn. The spices and flour float from the bakery below. A world of stillness, rolling color, and sugar. For a moment we are suspended in time. The romantic dreams of the night hover as a fog around us, just solid and fuzzy enough to slip back into. The daylight has not yet broken us. The magic of the night still wraps its woolen arms around us. The world collectively holds its breath for one last moment.

Then a train whistle breaks the quiet. The green has lightened to gold, the dark lingering purples are beaten back and the world begins to stir. A chapter is ending as we brush the sleep and dreams from our eyes and begin our march into reality once more. A world is fading with the last stubborn star in the dawn sky.

But another story is just beginning.

A Thank You

There’s a quote that’s been circling the internet; “Someday someone is going to hold you so tight that all of your broken pieces will stick back together”

It’s clearly intended to be thought of as a reminder to hold out for that soulmate coming down the pipes to fix everything simply by existing. (Pardon the cynicism)

When I first took it, I saw the romantic context and ignored it. I thought of my brother whose answer to anything is to hug me until my shoulder blades merge or to act as a breathing heating pad and flop on top of me. I thought of my roommate who has warm meals waiting for me on the bad days, and whisky for the worse ones. I think of how grateful I am for the people determined to not let me actually break into pieces.

I hit a spot of continual bad luck and not-so-good people recently. I’m in a town far away from my support group and the strain causes the cracks to break. Like any healthy, well-functioning adult, I continue to pick at my scars. I have the good days and I have the bad days. Even on the good days I feel  the lead weight in my chest and the sharpness of the broken edges.

You start waiting for the person to help put you back together.

I certainly wasn’t expecting who it would be.

Then he calls out of the blue. A former roommate from an internship years ago. Two years since the last contact I had with him. We catch up. He lives on the west coast now, but he’s traveling. He’s going to be in town, am I able to see him?

We meet for drinks that turn into dinner. I’d forgotten how he cuts through my defenses. How he calls me out on my bullshit and notices when I distract from questions I don’t want to answer, or have an answer to. He asks the difficult questions. He demands answers. He interprets my answers and recites them back to me, simplified. I spend hours untangling the knots in my mind. He cuts through them in seconds.

He tells me what he knows about me, that he doesn’t think I’m aware of yet, or ready to embrace yet. From a few months as roommates and friends, he lays out a bold judge of my desires, progression, and what’s holding me back.  And infuriatingly, he’s right.

He tells me about his life. His travels and where he’s currently settled, for now. He’s in an incredible open relationship, the kind that makes you believe in love and people being in love and the simple ways to make things work.  Things are never as complicated as we want to make them. It’s beautiful how devoted he is to her, how in love they are, and how they are in constant, completely honest communication. It’s refreshing. It’s hopeful. It’s also startling when I’m informed that she fully expects him to spend the night with me.

Which is the short version of how I woke up this morning tangled in my sheets with another person. And you remember that there is a difference between feeling desired and feeling valued.

While I won’t see him in another several years, while I am likely to not hear from him for another year at least, the man next to me is someone who both desires and values me, who respects me and pushes my boundaries and tries to get me to push them for myself.

He makes me think about the next steps. I know I’m sitting at a crossroads now, he made sure I saw the other paths to take, or make on my own.

In the moments before I acknowledge my consciousness, I notice that for the first time in long time, the edges feel not so sharp. The familiar pain and weight in my chest feels warmer, softer. A balm has been laid on my beaten heart, the bruises are fading, the scabs to scars. It’s a road yet ahead, but the pieces have remembered how to fit back together.

You find the help and the inspiration in the places you don’t expect, in the people you don’t expect. They arrive and they shake things up, help you stand up, and let you alone to try to find your own balance again.

I’m a cynic who believes in fate and fairy tales, not of the garden variety. And I believe in gratitude, for I am lucky in the people that I manage to find who pull me out of the deep end when I need it.