I’m leaning in to the Fear,
for I know where these tears have been,
how I could be the touch they needed
temporarily, but always just enough
to light their way imperfectly
as they settle in the nape of your neck,
the place I left to arrive again
for deep time never stops
calling out our names.
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.
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 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.
You came to me as a match,
that one chance to spark a flame
created a candle lit dinner
with soul food to take away.
It’s the risk of burning which tells me I’m safe
building bonfires with the childlike abandon
of a heart who believes
we’re dancing in circles where we’ve already been
and we need no time to waste
all the time in the world.
Let me slow this breathing,
quiet this suddenly inspired mind,
space feeds on my silent tears
as they trickle through the phone line
and drop by your Bluetooth speaker.
If you notice my voice break
blame the signal in Chicago,
too exotic to tolerate ten minutes
of a northern English tone
but the sounds are company to someone,
and the sweetness of subtleties.
I’ve noticed the change,
where before clouds would pass
now this weather is still.
Torrential rain or sunshine rays
and I observe from above,
untouched by the daily gusts of wind,
I am holding this self in place.
Something stays with me,
I cannot put my finger on it,
but a trace of your soul remains in my days
and I’ve never felt more peaceful.
I trace yours
with intentions sent across ocean waves.
Our love spans continents,
don’t ask me how
you exist so close when so far away.