I opened up the magnum of memorabilia that is
Life, until death did us part
And let the warm taste of remembered love
Fill my mouth, overflow my lips and spill onto my chest.
As it soaked into my skin near my breastbone
It felt heavier than before
When it was a living thing
Infused with the daily breathing in of you
I traced the line of your jaw on the screen
Looked deep into your brown lively eyes
And fell backwards in time
Like a drunken sailor on first shore leave
As I fell, images flashed past my mind’s eye
Sex on the beach (and not in a cup)
A fight in an alley in a downpour
People-watching from balconies, making up their lives in snippets
Broken bones and torn flesh in a hospital bed
Pale freckled face awash in computer screen back-light
Frolicking with the dogs in the pasture with frost
Hands on my shoulders and a kiss on the head
It is an old-time carousel slide show that lives in my brain
Locked tight, unmoving, until release becomes necessary
To let grief seep out through selected pores
So as not to overwhelm the universe with the heaviness
Curled up on the floor of my memory, eyes open wide
Dry heaving up love, tears, laughter and pain
I realize I have done the previously thought unimaginable
Lived, without you by my side
It looks different though, from out here
Than it did from beside you back there Hindsight is twenty-twenty it is said
And one cannot un-know the known
Like an abandoned tortoise shell
Some of the intricate scaling
That transforms the bony carapace
Swings loosely, revealing the hard truth
The love stands unscathed
Even as in acknowledged, willful destruction
I smash the magnum, watch it shatter explosively
And I tiptoe warily through the sharp edges of broken illusion,
I swallow two doses of reality, served up by elapsed time
Before I lay my swimming head down on the pillow
And hydrate my weary blood as it pounds in my head
With the waters of understanding
And so, when I awaken in the morning
Hopefully I will circumvent
The disorientation, the wincing, the vulnerability
Of a memory hangover of you
Inspiration: I finally gained access to an external hard drive, inaccessible for several years. Inside were photos, E-mails written, poems, fragments of a ten-year segment of my life. Even a .wav file, with my late husband saying “To my love and my wife, I love you now, and forever”, recorded over ten years ago. And there were other, more bitter, things.
I’ve never had a hangover personally, don’t get them; but I watched their impact on him for many years.
Thanks go out to a friend, who, a few months ago, in one sentence by a fire-ring, made a hairline crack in the illusion, something that I was too weak to do.
Those little pains that settle around the heart, like arthritis in joints
Creaking a little when we try to stretch our heart towards something new
Something lighter and different than the past presented us
Ambivalence sets in like a sea fog, clearly we see for a moment
Then possibilities are obscured again by mists of former things
And we find ourselves straining for that clarity again
Voices of our own concoction whisper, oft positive for a fleeting moment
Swallowed up again by self-doubts and remembered pain
Off we skitter like tide-revealed fiddler crabs in retreat to our little holes
A soaring hawk captures our vision, Ah! to ride the currents with such grace and lack of fear
We ponder that freedom in the air beneath our feet
And stretch a bit more than comfortable in a brave moment
Always these choices remain ours, if we but embrace them
Soar or scurry away back to what is safe and sound and empty
Or trust in ourselves and others once again
‘Reach out’ she mouths silently…
Inspiration: A road trip back to TN in the winter; the snow, the crisp air, the beauty there, time with friends. I always heal a little more each time I return to nature – even when I’m not aware that I’m in need of such.
Keep me near you, like a well-worn, revisited book
That favored one you caress the pages of before
Succumbing to slumber, the thoughts that frame your dreams.
Sleep, letting the essence of me float through your resting mind
Rummaging gently through your unguarded nooks and crannies
Causing your lips to curve in a soft, sleepy smile
Awaken, with thoughts of me scattering
Like startled sheep on a hillock
Giving you pause before throwing your legs over the bedside
Feel, as you face the mirror to shave, me
Grazing my fingertips against the stubble and pulse
Halting your breath a bit before you continue the ritual
Let me inhabit you, be the whistle on your lips
The niggling song you can’t put out of your mind
That accompanies you throughout the day with a smile
I can be with you, while without you
Like the river that ducks underground
Resurfacing miles later, present, but unseen
Sustaining, always flowing, moving through you via my inhabitation of your heart.
Inspiration: While working on my recent other post ‘Stone Cold?’, I thought about what want feels like for me. How it feels when someone inhabits my thoughts. How I want to be wanted by another, and so I dressed this other with the way it feels for me to want, how the wanted flows through my life when it is going on. It is gentle, but steadfast. It makes me smile at odd times during the day. But can one have that expectation of another, that they will want in like manner? Inhabitation is by invite, differing from possession.
I also realized that while I’m being pragmatic over there on my other blog, the romantic part of me has to get out somewhere, which is, ahem, apparently here. We all have more than one side, and dissonance comes when they wrestle for primacy.
Water is something that nurtures and supports life, and my mental imagery is that for what I consider loving – it is both sustaining, and sustainable. However, excessive consumption of water can make it run dry. Do you think that is true also, of loving?
(and…apologies for the birdsong that accompanies the reading. I thought of re-recording, but, I often write against the backdrop of nature, and what bird is not drawn to water?)
Stick to the Weight and Marrow
( Wordplay on Straight and Narrow)
Always stick to the weight and marrow they said
It will keep you out of trouble
So I sought the weight
And I dug to the marrow
Oh, what a world of trouble
But what of the weight?
What of the marrow?
Is the weight the truth of it all, stripped bare,
Quivering like an oyster when its shell is jacked open
Something chilled, to swallow in haste and with a tasty condiment,
Or, like for some of us,
Never to be swallowed at all?
Is not the marrow a functionary for all things necessary for living,
Pumping out bloody things, building us up, or Is it where feelings originate perhaps, since
One ‘feels it in their bones’
My marrow has exploded and bits of me are leaking everywhere.
Can you feel me?
But what of the weight?
And what of the marrow?
If I stick to the weight and marrow, perhaps I will
Finally get to the truth of the matter.
If so, will my bones let me know?
So I sought the weight
And I dug to the marrow.
Oh, what a world of trouble.
Inspiration – Pulled from my ‘phrase garden’ to play with. This was fun to write, even though the message is deep.