February 20, 2019

All that we have to Show for Love. {Poem}


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Love is we are 15,

and we are fragile.
Our egos, our bodies,
still growing,
stirred by life,
and desire,
and the moisture of lust.
And we seek attention,
and make foolish decisions,
and have unrequited feelings
that never reach closure
or fruition.
And we are in our heads,
a cloudy fantasy
of bleachers, and a corsage, and secrets kept,
of all the things we don’t understand,
the things we will remember,
though never perfectly clear—
the things we won’t forget.

Love is we are 23
and we are finding
something new,
we are writing our own rules—
or at least looking beneath a few rocks
to figure and seek
a path, and some answers.
All of it,
all of life as it comes,
so quickly, in a blink,
and even though
we are much too young
to comprehend what
years can do,
the accumulation,
how they will
change our ideas, our perspectives,
how they will knead and mold us to think
about giving more
and taking less,
or taking more
and giving less,
it’s what those early lost years do.

Love is we are 36,
wrapped up
inside our children,
or maybe not.
Maybe we are 36,
going on 37,
a steady gallop to the middle.
And maybe we are happy, but
maybe we also have some building resentments,
unfinished business,
some unsatisfied parts,
untied strings,
open containers
because we are still looking,
still uncovering,
still finding ways
to quench our thirst for meaning,
to love unconditionally,
while remaining individuals,
and making dinner,
and paying bills,
and teaching all that is much too difficult,
for quaking human beings to teach,
unless we’re actively setting examples,
and limits,
and going against our nature.
A nature that wishes for things,
such as youth, and candy,
and the blinding, ugly truth.

Love is we are 50
and we have arrived.
Yes, we are turning a corner,
and we have less responsibility,
so we are feeling…oh so selfish,
but my God is it delicious,
when the hardest work is over.
And though our hearts and our parts are saggy,
perhaps a bit depleted,
less supple,
they’re still alive,
and they still feel,
they have waited so long to really live,
and our love now,
should feel easier,
so much easier, to give.

Love is we are 88
and we are all the way back to fragile,
we are breakable, but still unbroken,
grateful for life,
still seeking something to touch.
There is energy between us
but perhaps not quite as much,
and there are words still left unspoken—
a lifetime lived,
our hands, our legs, our trunks, our minds,
entwined like DNA,
still growing,
still showing up,
but not perfect,
not easy,
but still filling each other’s cup.

Love is we are
sometimes lost in our thoughts,
in our own memories,
and we know now, finally now,
that living—it requires
a thousand lifetimes
maybe a million more.
And if we took a few more chances,
settled less,
left everything on the floor,
if we laughed abundantly,
and made a little mess,
without tallies or keeping score.
We will perhaps reach the end,
knowing that real love
was never quite as pure
as those poets dead and living
would have us believe.
It’s a rocky, twisting road,
to nowhere,
with nothing much to show,
to those who bore sacred witness,
for those who watched it grow.

Love is, we are
slowly saying goodbye,
shifting from light to darkness,
ever moving along,
our stories,
our lives,
forever married
in time.
A stop, a start,
one precious, beating heart,
precariously carried,
from splitting, living cells,
to empty shells,
from shine to rust,
from ashes,
back to dust.


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