A marriage is
a thousand tiny heartbreaks:
the heartbreaks of change, of crushed hope
and forgotten dreams;
the heartbreaks of empty hours, empty conversation
and empty pockets;
the heartbreaks of misinterpreted messages, misaligned priorities
and mismatched flatware;
the heartbreaks of vicious truths, vicious accusations
and vicious circles;
the heartbreak of begging for recognition, being unable to offer any,
and lonely, silent minutes of our aching need;
the heartbreaks of tired arms, tired lives
and tired excuses.
I had no idea how we’d maim each other,
aiming with deadly accuracy honed over years.
I had no idea of our capacity for forgiveness.
I had no idea that to carry the heartbreak, and to be standing still,
is love, too.
Cold regret and
for past misdeeds
dog me still
across time, across land,
at a time when I can finally extend my hand and offer up my arrogance,
finally taking my hands from my eyes to see my starring role
in that erstwhile drama, you are
distant across time, across land, across life.
Unrequited repentance is an unhealing injury
we are reminded of with a sickening jolt
when the mind twists unexpectedly,
when we try to lift heavy emotions without using our knees.
Maybe that’s the point.
In a lost pyramid
the size of my thumbnail
are inscribed random weighty edicts
of wooden flavor and rattling sound,
trafficking naked in stained corridors and
winsome byways forgotten.
Aztec spirals circle the wide red womb of the earth
and the whorls of each fingertip are dense with stars and dust,
shattering any connection I had with
time, space, or pencil lead.
There is no legend, no key: we are, every last one of us,
making it up as we go.
The game is rigged, and has been all along.
The only choice is to pick up my marbles and go home,
before I lose them all for good.
Home. To myself.
I see the cheating, the lies, the smoke, the mirrors,
the fine print,
those fingers crossed behind your back.
I followed the rules and it got me nowhere;
now I see the malicious design:
I was never intended to win, not even to place.
So I will shake off these chains of lies, greed, need;
I will make the laws for myself in my unicameral soul.
You can only punish the willing.
In a simple moment,
when clarity comes like warm sun through a forgotten corner window,
when the tired heart becomes infinite
when the frantic mind becomes infinite
when the conversation between the two becomes
when the soul speaks and the mind does not interrupt,
a simple choice: To listen or to ignore.
Listen to the whispered intelligence of our unuttered knowing or
drown out that voice in a riot of desperate sound and futile busyness.
They lied: Opportunity actually knocks every day, over and over.
Dreams, even the hushed ones, are persistent like family,
insistent like fire, resistant to inattention.
A simple choice, the way that love is simple;
the way that fear is simple, the way that hope is simple,
the way that war is simple.
Simple. Not easy.