Us in such
I have walked past this
marker on my path, for years,
noticed it in daylight and night light.
Made by another’s hand,
unknown to me, yet so known to me.
Passed by it again and again —
en route to grocer; to movies; to the river;
journeys of joy, of grief; of delight;
of the mind and the heart; thousands.
Truly, I added it up!
Why is it such
our hands onto
to make it real?
It was nine months ago
that I last hugged
the last woman to whom
I handed my heart.
On my birthday
as fate would have it.
We spoke once after, then
sporadically, cryptically distant.
There was no touching
no hugging, beyond that fate-filled
day of ironic celebration.
Soon after, communication and
all else between us
changed, lost its feel.
My heart reeled and limped forward
Not knowing what to feel
or believe, or believe in.
My head strove to alleviate it,
Fingers flipped pages of dozens of books,
Searched for answers and wiser minds,
Consulted theories, visited suspicions
and insecurities ten-fold. Still,
nothing was solid, or grasped,
all was conjecture.
We can build amazing worlds,
scheme great strategies,
grow brilliant fantasies,
design distractions of lives,
adopt unhealthy habits,
concoct elaborate roads to heaven
and yet always, we will ache to feel.
We want to touch, leave some mark
even if only discreetly, underfoot.
Something that says however simply:
I was here/we were here, we felt this.
I journaled pages and pages
Asked dozens of questions
Pondered the path forward as my
feet walked the gracious earth.
I explored the pain, shed rivers, then
floated on them, hiked mountains,
weighed the moral choices.
I was told (and tried) to
forget; let go! But it felt
wrong to do either,
in fact, I could do little,
except only, feel and with gratitude
forgive—both of us.
I embraced the unclear reality
Embraced my discipline, my art
Embraced traveling and new lands
New ideas, new faces, new friends.
I embraced spiritual practices
And sadness, and tears, and breathing
And my confused and bumbling
Very imperfect self
No relationship is set in concrete.
But at root, in order to nurture
healing, to grow, and begin
to become whole again
deep down, I knew all along
I had to keep facing my fears.
So despite all, I reframed the future
as I addressed the invite, to her
and the old beau returned
and dropped it in the mail
late this afternoon.
All we ever really desire,
is to share this life’s riches.
Even after, to feel as if “we” and
our a shared concerns and joys,
had not been utterly erased.
I ached for a mark, a sign,
that we really had been.
This evening, as always, was only
a string of ephemeral moments.
Except tonight, again by fate,
near the anniversary
of the event, in the very place
that first brought us together
and we’d hugged for that first time,
here we were again.
So tonight, for the first time
in nine arduous, soul-searching months
We touched. I hugged her and
looked into her kind, bright eyes,
held her soft, strong hands, and
in an instant volumes were spoken.
Tonight, for the briefest of moments,
we again shared space and presence.
The very same type of encounter
that began us, one year ago,
now at last, gently begins to heal us.
Tonight’s exchange, already a shadow,
offered energies of touch that
confirmed more solid than concrete:
We were. We both still are.
We are here. We can Be.
Through simple genuine touch
a hand held in hands,
unsaid words are superseded,
a fear-filled cycle begins to melt,
wounded hearts begin to mend.
The circle connects,
becomes more whole.
As do we.