My wise and silly best friend
my passionate, gentle, lover
three lifetimes ago
In his pocket
a CD that sang my soul
and a piece of my raw heart
The piece that wanted to wear
a band around my finger that
said to all that I had found my him.
The piece that wanted so much to see
what miraculous lives we could grow
with his seed planted in my garden
wether she would have his beautiful light eyes
or my dark chocolate ones.
That wanted to see how sweet and gentle
he would be with them…
WE would be with them.
how firm and loving and wise
in guiding them through life.
The piece that wanted to
sit beside him on a swinging bench
on a creaky wooden porch
holding his well worn hands in my soft ones
telling bad jokes
and pressing our wrinkly lips together
like it was the first time
laughing and loving til the end
where that piece was
was a hole torn through
but still beating…still beating
I couldn’t breathe
gasping for breath
at your name
chasing sleep for months
sitting in solitude
waiting at first…
perhaps in time he would see
the beauty of what i had been offering…
the preciousness of the piece
the gift he carried in his pocket
and then he didn’t come.
the phone didn’t ring…
my mailbox stayed empty…
and a little at a time
though at first I don’t remember how
I don’t remember when
the time passed…
Weeks turned into months
years into whole other lifetimes
I have felt other men
enter into my heart and had them in my body
felt another man put his fist across my face
and his hands around my throat
I’ve been to the cliffs of death
stood on the edge and looked over
inched back just before i lost my balance
I have carried the seed of another
grew life within me
nurtured it outside of me
I have created out of my body
a small best friend
I have traveled along all the edges of this giant island
I have climbed mountains
I have written songs to other hearts
though yours was one of the first
and might have been the last
if life was like the stories
I now read my son to sleep with…
slowly cauterized the edges
of the hole in my heart
the bleeding subsided…
the pain diminished
and over time, I grew accustomed to
the tension left in my chest
by all those gasping moments
in the aftermath of your beautiful hurricane
and to forget the pain
I forgot how high I held your name
I forgot how great of a piece I had gifted you
I forgot all of those intimate details
of how silly and corny you were
how easy I could tell you anything and everything…
of holding you in my arms
how deep I let you in and
what you felt like inside of me
how your lips tasted.
I even forgot I had a hole scarred
into my heart.
Then there was your voice…
and it all came rushing back like a great flood
all the love
all the desire
all the dreams I had dreamt of you.
all the sorrow…
all the pain…
all the struggles of lifetimes
of teaching myself my own immense worth
though you had not seen it,
and no other man had either.
I can’t let you back in my home…
there are doors in my walls…
but how can I trust you with those keys?
I know what kind of devastation you can leave behind.
and I don’t know what you might do…
I chose carefully the ground for my home
the foundation has been built as stable as I could
my home has been damaged
but rebuilt as solid as my two small hands could build
it houses all I love…and my most precious…my son.
I know this scar has your name on it.
But I don’t know if the piece I gave you would even still fit.
And I don’t know if you even kept it,
or if you misplaced it…threw it away…
perhaps you sold it to a collector of rare oddities…
or perhaps it was in your underwear drawer
getting moth eaten next to dirty magazines?
And I don’t want it back now.
It was a gift.
I wish I knew what to do with
this ghost of heartaches past
the haunting voice of your love
entered in through my ear and now
Its shaking me.
stealing my breath
stirring my passion
feeling that hole in my heart reopening
old blood flowing
If i let it flow
will it bleed me dry?
will it open the wounds so they can finally truly be healed
would there be any healing in offering up my heart and body
and then watching you walk away again so soon?
would you just take another piece with you when you go?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: Courtesy of the author