Saturday, April 5, 2014


How dare I?  Really? 
Because I can play this out both ways.  Feel both sides.
      Acutely.  If not equally.
      And somehow, I feel
      far too close to this,
         and, too, denied this very closeness.
So, what is fair?  Fair
        where? To whom? 
And In the eyes of God, the law? In the name
of decency?
It is this:  I have to name the unknown,
         name the fear,
                                 reach down
and hold the soft,
fragile realization,
as gently as I now hold what is rightfully yours,
and mine, unwon. 
I hold this pair, this joy, frustration – turn
                                 like a worry
stone into prayer, smoothing,
seeking wisdom, and now, as though
imploring Solomon, hold out
both sides. 

We each claim motherhood, claws
                     in writhing, wailing
                     infant flesh.
Who will sacrifice to spare the life?
But then, you call and I relent because your speech
so similar
to mine,
that I ache with the reminder
of an only imagined
Are we really that alone in heart’s desire?
You break in the same places – at the same
places, intone, as I, breathe where I,  and
the thick
pauses cause me stop, to listen
between the lines.
But  then, it is this, also:  the breach of contract. 
My agreement signed at X, contingent
upon my own control. 
And your voice a threat to my self-will. 
There is giving and there is returning
and I have not yet forgiven
the most recent loss, let alone embraced
the consolation of the most recent gift
(I will not call it gain)
and so here I stand,
staring into a realm of worst-case possibilities
Pretending anything
 is rightfully mine
Laying out lines
in eternal sands
that I cannot claim
How dare you, I say,
bite my tongue.  How dare you,
                        I pray.  Repent.
Attempt to center.

What oath or christening stands on earth?
There is brokenness everywhere
gravel in my mouth and yours
and tides of grace, gushing to wash
but I find I cannot even cleanse myself.
I have stretched time to its limit in my mind
while you, cast aside, remain
     in limbic prison
and I dare provide
where, while, when, impaired,
you are deemed incapable.
               Do I hold your limbs now?
                Or your heartbeat?
So, carelessly, hold the left-behind
least of these against my chest,
unaware, and with pure mistaken
Seams wear, relent,
unravel, finally.

How dare I?

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