love’s casket

love?
I shuddered when he said the word
I used to know love
back when I knew pain

I tried love then
and love served me well
for a time
until I let love carry me away

then love
right when I felt highest
let me fall
and I broke

love stayed with me
claiming to nurse my wounds
rubbing on ointments
that felt like salt

I pushed love away
and without my feeding love
or encouraging love
love died

I laid love to rest
buried love
in a casket
under the ground

“so you see”
I told him
“I no longer know love
love is dead to me”

dead to you is different from simply dead
he said
“perhaps love is only waiting
to be awakened”

could it be
that love had been buried alive
and that it might
still live?

I was afraid
who wants to dig up a casket
in hopes of finding a living soul
only to discover a corpse?

he left me alone
he couldn’t dig it up for me
this was my task
my choice

I sat at the graveside
as I watched the sun set
and before leaving
peeled back some of the turf near the headstone

the next morning I returned
with a shovel
and began to dig
trying not to wonder what I would uncover

as the sun rose
my sweat and tears
turned me into a muddy mess
I stopped digging at noon

my shovel scraped wood
and my whole being throbbed
I could not go on
so I sat and stared at love’s casket

until it began to rain
and the water from above
rinsed me clean
of all the grime of the work

I watched it pool on the exposed wood
mesmerized by the concentric ripples
running into each other
and off the edge

the water finished the job
I had begun
and love’s casket
lay fully exposed

I took it up
still afraid to open it alone
and took it to him
a gift

a sad gift
perhaps nothing
but a moldy box
full of rotted memories

I couldn’t watch
as he pried open the lid
but as it gave way
I couldn’t take my eyes off him

and when his love met mine
my love began to revive
like mouth to mouth CPR
simultaneously intimate and dangerous

it hurt
but after knowing
the paralysis of self-protection
I found that the pain of living is unparalleled

pushy notifications

good morning, time to check the phone
see what I missed while I was sleeping
doesn’t matter if it’s overcast or sunny
my phone lights up by itself

throughout the day I never worry
I won’t miss out on the social media scene while distracted with life
my friends tag and @mention me
and my phone tells me each time

in the middle of something
phone dings and vibrates too
to make sure I don’t miss any notification
I’ll either hear or feel it

all day

I either hear or feel it
I don’t miss notifications, but I do miss life
phone dinging and vibrating
in the middle of everything

and my phone tells me each time
my friends are stupid or clever
and while I’m distracted with the social media scene, I miss out on life
I worry my days will pass me by

I decide to darken my phone
now I notice the clouds and the sun and…
see what I’ve missed while in a phone-coma
good morning, time to set down the phone

what I wouldn’t give for a rainy day

I should have rehung the curtains last week
the sunlight makes it impossible to sleep
impossible to shut out the world and forget
I don’t need the rest – I slept all night –
I need the escape

what I wouldn’t give for a rainy day
why can’t the sky reflect the gloominess inside?

the light streams through broken blinds
piercing the darkness in my soul
and making me bleed tears

I bury myself in blankets
but that only lasts a few minutes
the sun is not only light, it is also warmth

what I wouldn’t give for a winter storm
why can’t the weather abet the chill of my icy heart?

I need to get out
I wish it were possible to vacate my head
impossible – so I vacate my bed instead
sullenly, I retrieve and hang the curtains
then, not so sullenly, I wander outside

desire’s deception

the fairest of them all, he said
complexion flawless, nose demure
lips and cheeks a peaceful solace
lashes perfect, tresses pure

I read a romance in his eyes
believing all he said was true
in many ways he said he loved me
words contrived my heart to woo

I faltered then and looked away
saved by wisdom’s coup d’état
betraying what I might become
should beauty fade and youth withdraw

the root of any grace he saw
was deep and buried in my soul
the trouble – I stepped back, now wary –
outward beauty he extolled

I pulled away, a bit afraid
of how I’d almost been seduced
refused his bid to draw me close
naivete was no excuse

his eyes now gray with pseudo pain
discreetly hiding his desire
to acquiesce would be a sin
why did I ever fan this fire?

once more his words came fervidly
my ears refused to hear this guile
yet how to tell him we were through
while dazzled by that Cheshire smile?

perspective from a sailboat

Inspired by the song Sailboat, by Ben Rector

I’m on a sailboat

trapped, water surrounding me

water surrounding me with beauty

alone in the silence

enjoying the peace of solitude

insecure, unsure of where I’m drifting

drifting along, excited to see where I end up

no oars to fight the direction the wind takes me

blessed surrender, carried along by the wind

who knows what I’m headed toward?

God knows where I’m going

exposed to the elements

soaking in the mist and the breeze