This is your heart beat.
A slow steady rhythm marked by flickering white light.
This is the pulse of life.
An erratic fast then slow but pushing on relentlessly.
In the rush of everything, everyone, and everywhere I need to be,
I listen for the thumping in your chest
That sets my steps
And Moves me on despite the setbacks and lacking self-confidence.
I listen for the next beat with bated breath.
Keep beating though the journey is long.
Keep beating though the slog is hard.
Keep beating to guide me where I can hold you in my arms
and become the one who leads you beyond.
Frost rimes the trees like the Queen Anne’s Lace that grew alongside the holler roads in June,
on the hazy afternoons when we had no place to be, no ends in sight, on the winding one-lane, old paved roads where we took flight.
Bike pedals slapping shin bones when we hit the hills just right,
free descent, lungs too strained for our squeals of delight,
we have always been wild and strange
creatures who wandered the Appalachian hills but sought a broader horizon.
We spoke for 62 minutes today.
We spoke while I cruised through a McDonald’s Drive-thru.
We spoke as I checked the tire pressure on my car
And complained about the sensor light coming on again.
We spoke as I ate, long pauses as I chewed.
We spoke as I perused the news.
In 62 minutes today we had to condense 24 hours of our marriage.
It was not enough.
To be intimate.
To describe our day.
To explain what needs to be done.
To discuss our child.
To exalt over her achievements.
It can never be enough.
In 62 minutes every day for the past 300 days.
How do we stay in touch?
And thousands of texts that simply say
I love you
Wait for me.
We’ve been here before.
We have left the realm of the unknown.
This is day to day,
This is your job,
This is the commitment I understood.
We are so close,
I know where we go from here.
I know how to feel from here.
We have lived in this span of space
have reached across this arc of time
and found each other again on the other side.
I have reached inside my soul
and found that I am lined in gold.
It fills the cracks and fissures,
the erosion of my tears through troubled years.
It formed in veins, snaking over heart and mind
steeling them against the harsher times.
And my value cannot be seen by prying eyes
I’ve hidden away what makes it a prize.
It’s yours to take, yours to see
because you’ve always only seen the best in me.
Baby, we were fire
Engulfed in each other’s sight
The tendrils of your flame
Set my soul alight.
Brittle, broken tinder
Littered my insides
A spark from you, a cinder,
caused me to ignite.
The friction building in whispers
In the velvet of deep twilight
Erupted, spewing embers,
Molten lava, melting frigid night.
Did you feel the burning?
Did it scald and scar your skin?
Can you see the marks of yearning,
the brands you left behind?
Baby, we were an inferno,
enveloping and blinding.
How did we survive it?
He is to me the foam upon my sea
Billowing up from my depths to ride on waves
Stretching towards the beachy barriers
Pulling back to chase horizons.
He has become as flesh to my bone
Gripped by ligament, sinew, muscle
All sewn together with veins
Destruction of part forever marring the whole.
To separate us would mean to rend my soul
To divide my life’s blood from my lungs
My heart from my tongue
Told to thrive within a shriven corpse.
Physiologically whole but dissected
All the same.
Poseidon in his watery prison has loved Selene from afar, turning his tides to draw her gaze upon him.
And Selene hung upon the velvet canvas of night unable to sink into the salty waves from her lofty height blinks slowly with regret, filling her vision with the peaked foam depths.
I love you like the ocean loves the moon, the sight of her in the night sky roiling the ocean into tidal frenzies.
I love you with the eternal pattern of nature, unwavering and confident in the reassurance of return.
I love you with the eternal intent of gods and the immortal imperviousness of our souls.
I love you as I have always and will always love you, in lives since passed and lives to come, and in that space of afterlife, our Heaven ensnared in each other’s eyes.
And long before the goddess took up residence beside the empty cratered lake to stand guard over far off blue green seas and long after those seas have ebbed eternally too heavy and ancient with geological burden I have, I will, love you.
When the gray mornings of a humid, drizzly day cause my hair to frizz and fray.
When my tears leech through my mascara darkened eyelashes in black rivulets down my cheeks.
Before I wash the night’s sleep from my face .
Standing under the harsh truthfulness of white fluorescent lights.
When the stress of the day bows his shoulders down like Atlas.
When the night is dark and the moon has shut its eye to steal the little light it gives.
When I dressed all in white and took his hands for life.
When he wiped the sweat from my brow with the edge of my ugly hospital gown.
When my nose is red and I can’t stop coughing and fever blurs my eyes.
When his voice cuts in and out from the strain of transmitting from thousands of miles away.
When he hasn’t even seen my face for several weeks on end.
My love tells me I am beautiful even when I don’t deserve it.
My love tells me I am beautiful and I am starting to believe him.
Because when he tells me I am beautiful it isn’t what he’s seeing, my love tells me I am beautiful because of what he’s feeling.