I want to tell him that I
love everything from a distance
but can cross oceans in seconds
that the people before him sopped
through my fingers like wet sand,
were ever flat and disarranged, empty
men with waterless words and exigent
appetites for my body--(that this is where
i learned the only way to please a man was
to give him myself)
I'm still undoing the knots, unraveling the little girls
coiled in lies, and taking mallets to the plaster molds
I built up around myself, mannequins for different men
and if there is anything I am confused
about it is him, his I-could-nevers, his frightening
absolutes, the ways in which he vows he can never change
you think you want me but at the back of your mind you want
I don't want you--not like that. Not as if
your worth was based on how quick you jump into the fray for my sake. How many times you make me smile or say your name--however
you are soaked in rosemary and oil, folded up out of my notebook
into a thousand paper cranes--no, not even like that.
How do I tell you that I see your soul? Your threadbare spirits peeking out and the willowy fibers unraveled in your wake, that you are more than your mothers many marriages, more than the women you did not
want to have-- and deserving of a lasting love that transcends your mistakes and leaves your mirrors remarkably clean, did you know you can be clean?
How do I tell you that the broken do not fix the broken, how I cannot share the blueprint for healing but the burden if he asks--are we in the same book? The same chapter? I once heard that two people must grow in a similar direction at the same pace--are we on the same boat? The same road? On the torrent seas, will you hold your own?
I realize I cannot come at you with such brazen artillery, that the paths I choose have no gates and are often unmarked, not even the grass gives way, nor the trees and twigs their secrets--and the journey is wholly faith, an expedition I have not fully taken but is presently on its way. When I tell you what falls first and where my priorities settle, I speak down the pike of the ways I hope to be and the woman that waits in whole.
So when he tells me I am confusing for the hundredth time and I sink somewhere off the Atlantic with the weight of my own thoughts, I am quiet. His words are ever resounding but do not fill me up--just the glimmering hope that we will somehow
I've been trying to write this for a month.
I had so many titles for this:
Therefore, my beloved
Grace to the humble
The Work it Takes
(c) Brooke Otto 2016