To all the men I’ve loved and lost,
I thank you.
For every door you tried to open, when I always insisted on doing it myself.
Your competent hands, stretched out for my stubborn will, “No, I’ve got this.”
Until I couldn’t get back up.
You held on tight.
Like a wildcat, always finding your way home, even when I screamed,
“Get the f*ck out!”
With shaky head endearment, to play the screechy record of my “small decision binds,”
while you graciously listened on
For the millionth forehead kiss on the couch
where you picked me up, and fought my sleepy fists back to bed.
Then greeted my pillow head, with bacon and coffee to do it all over again.
Until 3:00 a.m. when you just wanted to sleep,
but I gutted the feelings out of you, because I preferred a soft chest to lay on.
I looked through your flooded brown eyes, that always wept through sappy movies
but only with me,
because you knew I’d cry too.
And then you’d “man up” to fix my hardware and my life,
even though we both had no clue what we were doing.
You were powerful enough to let me save you too,
as I unzipped your fragility and strangled your vulnerable soul with ferocious feelings.
We burned down together,
but always rose resilient,
because lionhearts are unafraid to show scars.
You would always be my hero,
even though I swore I didn’t need one,
Until I lost my keys for the fifth time.
You would find them
and tell me, “It’s okay,” in a voice I always believed,
As you sat through my darkness,
with the rhythm of heartbeats and breath,
Until my morning bones woke up in your arms
to that little bird that chirps, right before the sun rises again.
Then once upon a time,
through your masculine mirror of Disney knighthood,
I saw a vision
of long-haired warriors, with flowing dresses and red lips.
They were “girls like me,” gut checked with failure,
One hundred and fifteen pounds of “I wish a mother f*cker would” always get back up,
because that’s what “men” do,
And I lived in a man’s world.
Until the burden was too heavy for you to carry,
and you couldn’t ask for help,
because they would call you weak.
So you pulled yourself up by the bootstraps,
you weren’t even sure you could afford.
My wolf-eyed femininity pierced through your stoic bullsh*t
without stealing your pride, which I knew you were not ready to let go of.
I held you close to my chest, and rocked the pain, until you melted
into my healing vortex.
Timeless arms cradling you and a broken world,
salty water flowed through the cracks
and we took a deep breath together,
intertwining our masculine and feminine story lines.
We knew we had arrived.
In our own skin.
But it was time to say goodbye,
through drenched faces and alien chests,
threatening to burst out through gut-wrenching heartbreak.
We set off on a pilgrimage,
carrying individual birthright burdens,
because we both had glass slippers to find,
dragons to slay,
lullabies to sing,
and villages to save.
Our complex bones,
etched with the magic powers of duality.
Alone, we were whole.
Shining diamonds of paradoxical wonder.
We could be the prince or princess,
regardless of gender,
On a stage full of lights,
as we rode off into sunsets of masculine and feminine colors,
to reclaim epic tales for
all the little boys and girls,
who just wanted someone to love them.
We morphed into new creations,
who could kiss the sleeping beauty of ourselves back to life,
while wearing our “shining armor” on guard, to save ourselves and the world.