Some people say it is the easiest thing in the world
The first thing that spills from a baby’s eyes:
Not tears, but love, easy love like cheese oozing out of a sandwich!
I like that, I want that;
That ease of use, reaching behind me to pluck love
Out of my toolbox without even turning to look!
There it is, at hand, at hand, fistfuls of it like plenty, like bounty!
But other people say the other thing,
That feels so true because it hurts,
Because hurt is what we’re used to when truth comes into it.
They say it’s hard work every day, that it’s conscious;
It’s the tension in your muscles when you do a new dance step,
And the only ease you ever find is the autopilot, the muscle memory.
Years down the line after hard, hard work you just might feel it,
The way a gymnast’s old breaks thrum in reminder.
“Remember how it used to be so hard,”
“How it hurt you and you had to work to become this,”
That inner contradiction to her graceful posture when she lands.
I think I want it easy,
But I don’t really know how I want it.
When you’ve never had it at all, how can you
Pick and choose the way you finally get it?
I think about women in pastel dresses brushing lint off their husbands’ clothes,
And I think about how blood rises to a cheek when it’s been slapped,
And I think what if I was never meant to have it at all.
Maybe I can’t even do it the hard way, can’t fake it till I make it
‘Cause I’ll never make it anyway.
The easy way or the hard way,
The easy way or the hard.
We never talk about option number 3,
When someone looks up at you, eyebrow slightly raised,
And says with a quiet finality,