after all that was said and done and sung,
there was a sorrow still unsatisfied, all those layers of sin and selfishness.
got to sit still, so still in your presence,
eyes closed now, silence
all the aching inside from an unmet love and self-absorbed feelings,
shame about desire and dangerous dialogue.
the red face of a boy I feared would never want me for lack of things I couldn’t help but lack, and the nervous hiding, afraid of getting caught.
the annoyance, stretched thin and taut, you just can’t sing! the screaming repeated
over and over inside my head,
the covering up with false smiles and blushing, the fussing with hair,
the stooped arms.
the fatigue, the fear of being myself,
the fear of being myself, fully.
everything laid at your feet tonight, a sinner unsatisfied apart from you. I wept in your lap and you loved me. in your lap and you loved me. I wept and you loved me, that’s all.
for all your talking, you haven’t got much to show.
why do you make me feel ashamed of weakness? why the silence that meets my tears?
why turn your head in embarrassment? when I am okay bleeding?
in my mind I sit across from you, the plastic table hard, the seats too cushioned and tall– claustrophobe. I stare at you, your hair, how the sunlight falls on it and makes it golden, even more so, and your eyes dazing in and out, what are you thinking about? I sit across from you, make small talk, look out the window occasionally and exclaim about the sky, how blue it is, the clouds, how they move, and inside I am dying to ask you who I am to you, if anyone, if anything at all. “recognize” has latin roots meaning “to think again.” I sit across from you, I call you dear friend, and I mean it, I hope. but a small insecure part of me also holds onto the ends of those words, the ends of love
and thank you. soft-spoken. sincere.
holding onto those ends, why do I do that? I’m still afraid to love in freedom. love-do more than lovespeak. still afraid of not getting at least a little bit back. am I wrong to fear? I sit across from you and wonder, I slurp my chickpea soup, it’s lukewarm.
the sweet surrender of it, first the toes sparkling and then the pavement, the whole world glistening. rain falling, and leaves, too, the shhhhh of wet speed, everything silent and silver and alive.
wanting to share it with someone, the color.
wanting it alone.
flowers pressed against the floor, bright orange, thin as paper. the relentless wet, like spit, quick, hitting the face, slow… sliding down the slope of nose, the scented lips.
the rain it rustles, if you listen closely, has a rhythm to it.
someday maybe i will share this with someone,
the vision of glass falling and muddy waves,
the giddy gliding,
clothes wet and hanging off like second skin, free–
we’re washing wet outside, the world
a tub, and time,
mine to give–
biking in the rain, the sweet surrender of it.
I am so dissatisfied with the shy smiles, the guarded glances, the hands held for seconds only to separate. the hi’s hello’s how are you’s. I feel the ache inside in the silence afterward. in the silence after passing you. I just wonder about you a lot. too often, probably. and my re-thinking of you met with nothings — they hurt me. I am constantly wondering if I am self-delusory. when the leaves are falling around us like snow in a snow globe, when your eyes are gray, when you walk with your head down low, when you fail to hold your smile and I see the brokenness inside, the anger inside, the hunger inside. I make no sense except in my head. my thoughts move too quickly, like the wind takes them, like the blurring bike takes them, lays them out on pavement cracking in the cold autumn air. so much I hold, so much I lose. I feel the ache inside.
dawn through a window from home
for every message sent,
Tremors spread against
the cool cotton bedsheets–
a lifeline, [limbs restless]
a friendship, [eyes lidless]
only motions in the
dark, dusty night.
Two hearts can beat,
fast like ‘tricity,
but telephone lines do little to bring us together.
A short poem I wrote maybe a year ago that reminded me of some articles I’d read in the Modern Love column of the NY Times.
I’m asking for grace to choose to believe He really loves me even now when I’m reluctant to bow low before Him and so hungry for my own glory.
But one thing I believe (God help me) is that His love is better than life. Self glorification is so fear-filled and insecure, nothing like the freedom that comes from confessing with my whole heart that He is good and I am not.
You really came to set me free.
You really came that I may have life and have it abundantly.
You really are the way, the truth, and the life.
Your love is truly better than life.
You discipline those who delight in.
Your love is steadfast, forever, wide, long, high, deep. And it will never fail me.
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.
I am homesick for a place I have never seen before.
In English class we talk about you a lot. It seems no one knows you very well, but no one likes you too much. Tell me, is it because they fear you? You know their hearts–theirs are not mine to know. Do their words and thoughts fall on you like spit or like the blows you felt walking on that darkened hill? Or are your eyes still burning? Do you not feel the hurt anymore? What do the recesses of your heart look like? It feels like home to me, my refuge, my resting place. But do you keep from me what I can’t ever dare comprehend? How much do you hurt?
Your love goes deeper than these mortal wounds, I know. But I want to know you more. The more I’m with you, the less people see of me. It hurts, but I will say over and over and over again that I am okay with that. In my heart of hearts, this is what I want. You know my desires, and you satisfy them.
I’m okay with that. Sorry if it’s half-hearted or un-believed while you long for all of me. I’m still praying: take it all. take it all. take it all.