The hardest lessons lie on the other side
of the simplest graces;
half drunk coffee shaded by morning faces,
the made bed erasing the outline
of our shapes in it.
Life interrupted by the presence of another
grazing the nape of my neck,
skin a confusion of perfect sense
because I believe the universe is foolproof
and my learning is in the leaving of everything
but your borrowed toothbrush.
It becomes part of a spiritual practice
to take one’s shoes off,
leave life’s dirt at the door
and find grounding for the body
through soles of the feet
meeting cold, hard floor.
The glue that binds us to the present
whilst infinity shows up to greet my soul.
The source of the indeterminate.
It’s a universal concert
and I’ve got a standing ticket.
The place I go to be everywhere at once
by going nowhere at all.
The seats we sat on,
mine precariously, cross-legged but not comfortably,
balancing the weight of something both new and nostalgic,
the way you took off your denim jacket,
the way you fidget with your wristbands out of habit.
The cups we drank from,
yours plastic, mine ceramic.
I think they sensed the flush from our skin
when the ice in yours melted,
no attention paid to how they tasted.
We all knew, me and you didn’t show up for the coffee.
The ground we walked on,
mindless pacing yet purposeful.
Were our steps in time,
following the trail of crumbs through our past lives?
I’ll mark each stop with a cross,
treasuring the map that sends us round and round in buried circles.
I will raise my voice to speak,
begin to rejoice in my action
even if no one hears me,
for this body houses a spirit
more powerful than the layer of skin
touched by another’s fingertips.
They dip their desire in holy water
whilst I make my mark with pincer grip,
acknowledging your visit to this sacred space,
a ticket stub reminder of all that’s temporary,
you can only ever sleep beside this,
an understudy to my lifelong apprenticeship.
But first, take off your shoes,
this is holy ground
we both need to learn to worship.
I am still not accustomed
to being wanted for my company,
so used to hosting men
in my bed and this body,
the universe expanding
as somehow my space becomes erased.
To be asked what brings me pleasure
should be so everyday.
I may not be convinced of my beauty yet
but I can believe that I am safe,
even as my deepening breath
begs for armour
or out of habit, sleep hesitates,
both waiting up for the decision my heart makes
to trust the hands that hold me.
Know this is all love.
One by one, stars watch as we
fall into moments.
Sometimes the noise inside our minds
seems so loud
we don’t notice life
knocking on our locked door,
desperate to find us.
May I open all the windows,
drill holes in the brick walls,
take the roof off.
Let the universe shape its love into a whirlwind
and I’ll bless the way it messes up my hair.