Thursday, August 20, 2015

when you have to move on

I felt him look me up and down
Tracing my lines with his hope
I thought, 

"Can I go home now?"

Little girl, arms full of a stack almost taller than her
Arms full, hands full, balanced precariously
One thing slips, it all falls
All falls if one thing slips, 
And all I could think was,

"Can I go home now?"


Home to you where I can slowly, carefully, drop the pieces to the floor, one by one
Not too much banging and clanging just
Let my arms swing by my sides
Arms tight from the weight of everything I've been carrying since you (seeing me eyeing the lay of the land, judging how many steps I could make, what else I could balance, maybe on my head? around the corner? up the stairs?) made the decision to stop helping me
Let them fall
Reaching up to the corner of my frame, peeling back
So that what I keep behind the surface is exposed
Can feel warmed by the soft light from that one lamp
And I can peel it all the way off, roll it all up neatly, and let it fall silently onto the rug
And I can finally let my taut insides condense, let them relax into a pile that fits under the crook of your arm
My edges softening until I am only part person and part fluff of blanket
Wrapping us both up in your arms holding onto my core
And tracing of the lines of your face with the tip of my finger
And the edges of your mouth turn upwards
Smile upwards
Because this is what home feels like
Your face buried in me while the final drapes fall off the windows in drips that run down my cheeks as I allow the rest of the spurs to leak out
And you just let them
Because it just became safe here at home where 
Whose arms and legs are whose
No longer matters.

"Can I go home now?"

Because while one of the cards dealt in that hand was uncertainty
The rest of them were this hand...
That fit perfectly into that hand...
That hand with the cards just laid out
And if I could just figure out which to play when
If I could just be better at cards, get better at cards, practice my shuffling a little longer,
Maybe you would just stay 
Maybe we could just stay in our tangled, fleeting home
And when I found myself somewhere holding a stack
I could always go, 
As I had always dreamed, 
Back home.

You tried to be kind.
Perhaps this was most painful because you tried, really tried, to be kind.

Limbs untangled, the spurs remain tightly packed in all available wrinkles
And sometimes, when shaken (especially at night),
They still march down my face.
Drapes hung.

There is no going and no to.
Only stand still, look at the staircase, and try very, very hard (tip of finger trembling) not to drop the stack.