Off the Cuff

The men I’ve loved have allowed me

to rely on no one but myself.

You can bare your soul, you know

at the distance of an arm’s length.

It is possible to bask

in the warmth of an embrace, and yet

walk away feeling even more alone.

And yes, I’ve known connection

and heartache

and there are many who have glimpsed

the intricacies of this spirit.

(a vast kaleidoscope of pale purples,

flowing, constantly in motion)

And I too, having seen their own.

It is possible to dive into the pool of love

for a brisk swim

and struggle to stay above waves

that you, yourself, have made.

And it is also true that you can

drown there,

and when dragged out, revive,

still feeling refreshed from the water

left rolling off your skin.

(there is an incredible majesty

it the moment before you succumb,

like dusk has just begun to break)

Reminiscing of your brushes with death

while drying your skin

with towel swipes.

 

I know there are times

when I stare off into the distance

and it is hard to say whether I am recalling

love or loss.

The gut-wrenching kick of solace?

Or strolling down the short path

of memory lane, that I even dare revisit.

 

There are moments in the silence

when I can still feel the touch

of a ghostly fingertip

against my surface of my skin.

And I am forced to open my eyes to the darkness

despite my fear that

I’ll see something standing there

before me.

Finding myself then,

startled by the void instead.

 

 

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