Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aftermath Past

This amethyst you gave me’s filled with pain,
its purple not as deep as I imagined,
its green a different shade 
than the one that called me once to you
as perfect complement. I see how
you endured me now – took it all in being careful
not to show yourself at all beyond my shadow
- I didn't care, my life so needed love
I made you from my own clay,
to smother with my loving energy
you crystallized inside, without letting me see
the list of things that terrified you of who I really am.
You tried to make me change, but how could you
when couldn't let me get inside, how frustrating
that must have been, to love someone so deeply
but not feel quite safe enough in your own skin
to accept him.
I honor this, how you gave yourself
back through me, and if I couldn't accept all you were
- the madness, the greed, the constant dissatisfied need –
you at least had the grace to throw back in my face
what you couldn't deal with of me - my tapeworm
strings of thought, my becoming what I’m not,
the whole lost without even knowing it mess
that can’t once be a thing to rely on, just
a shoulder to cry on and a rock to hold on to,
without definition, like the mirror of the sky.
And all I deprived myself you gobbled down bitterly
and all I didn't have the heart to ask you for you denied
me angrily, as if it wasn't my fault that I did not have
the strength to be real, to call you on your shit, the gift 
that no one ever gave you but you needed most of all, 
from me. So my love became a running critique, 
a thorn of abuse in your side, and that old high road
that worst, most inaccessible proximity for someone
who’s wanted for so long to be known. And I knew you
but could never say – my kindness was condemnation – 
my not turning away the worst way to betray – to confer 
the prison of hope.
                               So we got in each other’s’ way
you with your piles of dilettante stuff
almost wanting to go there, to get close,
to give back as you once had wanted to reach out to me
and me with my secret life just waiting to strike
anytime you turned your back on it, in the dinghy 
basement crypt where all that was left of me was
- what you once embraced completely – but day by 
day, without even seeing it, I fell back into me –
the shame that the closet I’d locked myself into
was too comfortable, how freeing it was to escape
from being needed, how frightened at my own crime 
I became, continually re-enacting in my solitude
some ancient abandonment.
                                               I tried to tell you you were
forgiven once – you refused to believe it – I tell myself I
should have known right then, in the moment before 
everything crumbled in slow motion geologic time – 
but everything from then on was a gift, too, 
every missed connection a great lesson – all of it
was planned in the most precise permutations – 
our being so close yet so far apart, how painfully
real we forced it to be, yet how blatantly false. 
In the end, you spun too many lies for me to keep up with, 
and my sins of omission gave you too many excuses
until there was nothing even to apologize for – I said
I was sorry for everything, as if that was my right to do – 
and you withheld everything, as if you knew 
what was best for you.
                                      So much wasted time, 
twelve years, from 2000, the year of the apocalypse
through the burning Bush and the Obamanible years
our children grew, and never once could we find
a compromise – it was always your way, even when
you decided to give me what I asked. How could I 
accept that and not push back - without that sense
 of how sensitive you were, how little it took to be cruel
 – such a flimsy excuse! No wonder you’re angry! And 
even now look at me, only speaking to you through some
hidden poetry I hope you will never see, because
 – well, I still - a part of me – needs to believe 
that you know me, and your inevitable animosity 
at my presumption in speaking for you here
might trigger some recognition that you never did get me
at all - just the face I drew, wanting to be filled in – 
I never cared, not getting that, that you needed it too, 
despite the violence of your objections, the damaged state 
I knew you were in when I came in, for that – and for
everything – I’m so sorry. In how little I could tell you, 
that was the only way you could learn who you were,
and in all the ways you failed to change me
with your lock and key, it’s the only way I could 
see how I need - now - to change. 
In the little we could say to each other
it was more than enough to know.
                                                          And here I am, 2012
washed over like a wake, and I have to let go of what
I believed myself to me  – while leaping in faith to a future
where darkness holds me in love in a way that 
you couldn't. I release you from any responsibility 
for anything other than accepting the chance so eagerly 
to give me the gifts you gave, gifts more precious for being
the kind that get me where I now am more quickly.
I’d release you from more but there’s nothing more left
to let go, you gave me that gift as well. But there is
something else, something you've asked, and I’ll try 
one last time to honor your request, and not try to figure out 
where you are right now, to let you be without my hovering 
self-doubt mingled in with my love – you wanted, I see, 
after all this time, in horror, you wanted to be free
 – and now you are. I let you. go. 

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