Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Valediction, or where we choose to live

Maybe it’s not the work we do in silence.
The other things
we have reached and said and done.
What you think of me and how you see me,
the most offensive fingers,
pulling from me this lesion.

It’s the grateful who find you to be whole
even when you lack.
Who lead you and speak to you
and know that you are wrong.
They love you because humans are strange
and flawed and altogether possible.
You save these people from themselves time
after time
because it’s all you can do.
They are residents of the most fallible address.

The angry walk away as victims.
They carry transparent storms
that no one knows they’re capable of.
They use things you do
and don’t do (especially the things you don’t do)
to kill love.
They smash the children
you have made, they burn the tenderness
you know to be real.
Then they walk away; they are happy and righteous,
an avenue of smoke and tumors and family in their wake.

And to say it, repeatedly,
in front of time and mothers and friendship:
It’s never been enough.
This must be what they are saying.
The growing has felt uneven
for years. What do they mean by heartbreaking?
What do they know about unforgivable?
Why do they get to rise like a certain kind of pronoun
and say what they think they know
they do not know? Anything.

So this is where we walk away.
There is no metaphor for this unraveling
except that it is open,
it is closed,
it is a corpse that happened long ago
that nothing could prevent.

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