In Love

in love,
we find out who we want to be,
and, if we’re lucky enough,
that love allows you to be exactly that

-image via Pexels

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Civil

they are polite,
careful with one another,
reduced to a civility that keeps the peace,
that passes the time in a finely stitched quilt of status quo

it’s complaisant, unnerving,
this glass house and no stones,
this sort of civility that’s an undertow of mistrust,
this politeness that is nothing left to say

-image via Pixabay

Priorities

not long ago,
if someone had asked me,
I’d have said my husband was the most important thing in the world to me,
but he wasn’t,
not then

what was most important to me wasn’t love or passion or trust,
but my ability to lie convincingly to myself,
to believe I was strong

and I’m not sure who I couldn’t forgive for finding out I wasn’t,
for knowing all along I wasn’t –
him or me

-image via Pexels

Swan’s Song

standing at the creek’s edge,
our fingers’ clumsy knot begins to unlace
as he turns to look at me,
eyes flickering like fading filament,
a passing swan’s cursive curve a question mark’s reflection on the glassy surface before me,
just like the words he so softly speaks

and I stand there, stuck,
wondering if, no matter my answer,
no matter what choice I make,
would the swan still sing our song?

-image via Pixabay

Bruised

he was all teeth and muscle,
blades of white pinching at gooseflesh,
sharp intakes of air heaving and leaving in labored gasps and moans,
his warm wetness closing in around the sting,
sucking so hard my eyes clamped shut

but I did not arch away –
I pushed myself further into his mouth,
welcoming the pain,
as famished fingertips dug into my back as if reaching for something he could not wait to unearth

in that moment,
I wouldn’t have minded if he drew blood;
he was devouring me, consuming me

needing me

I gave all I had to give,
and I took it all in,
all he had to give,
the needing and the wanting and the desiring,
the unhindered exposing of his soul to mine,
the becoming
one

for, we knew,
in the giving and the taking,
in this most sacred exchange,
this unhindered merging,
we would both feel stronger than we’d ever felt before

more

in the end,
I would be covered in his marks,
scratches and ribbons of redness,
I would be rubbed straight to the bone with the kind of urgent exhaustion I imagined an addict feels between fixes

I would wake,
bruised to the marrow with him,
he a part of me,
and I of him

forever

-image via Tumblr, original source unknown; shared as part of dVerse Poet Pub’s Desire and Sexuality prompt

Undoing

silence settles in like cold settles into my bones,
words, once fertile and blooming,
now become itchy, phantom limbs,
a nagging taunt,
contemptuous, even

you see,
I went so long without ripples,
and a stone had finally been dropped into the water,
every circle fanning out to move my destiny along the course of some inevitable, magical destination,
but now the moon seems to have halted the tide,
and my eyes have become an unyielding blackness,
tinting the world

that blackness had, for so long after the ripples,
become a reminder of how the night always comes before the glory of morn,
a time when the world is a beautiful mystery

but now it only reminds me that shadows are all I have,
and the crazy thing is –
maybe I’m ok with that,
maybe I always knew

I always knew that love would be my undoing

-image via Tumblr, origin unknown

Not One

I am not one of you
I’m a sieve
A sponge
I adsorb your cue

I am not one of you
I’m a strum
A reciprocal vibration
I hear your hue

I am not one of you
I’m a bubble
A transparent vessel
I see right through

I am not one of you
I’m a translator
A personifier
I feel your askew

I am not one of you
I’m a palate
A canvas
I soak in, imbue

I am not one of you
I’m a double-take
A tip of the tongue
I’m Deja vu

I am not one of you
I’m a moment
A slide show
I’m a tribute

I am not one of you
I’m a quarry
An excavation
I’m a revue

-Image found on Tumblr, source unknown; reworking of an older poem

Rusty

“I love you,” she says,
her voice shivering and raspy,
the unfamiliar words birthed from some damp, corroded place inside her,
flaking like rust as she forces them through tentative lips

it isn’t that she doesn’t love him –
she does;
she loves him more than she thought was possible

but,
she never wanted to need him

-image via Pixabay