№ 282 (Of One Who Came and Went)

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This post originally appeared on a previous personal blog. I’m republishing it here with the original post date.

This is a poem written for a woman who I fell in love with at the worst possible time, but who made me remember who I was after nearly a decade in toxic relationships that slowly poisoned me and made me a stranger to myself. She’s long gone now, but she’ll always be someone I remember in a special way. She gave me a wonderful gift. She gave me back my Self. 

I am precariously perched

So high up
So far to fall
So much at stake

This is something I cannot sustain

Thinking still thoughts,
Breathing measured breaths,
(No) (sudden) (moves)

And you’re up here too
Trying to look the other way
Concentrating on keeping your balance
And not letting on

(Just the same as me)

But temptation is terminal
Desire is our undoing
A stolen glance, a sidelong look
A mind that begins to stray

That balance, so hard won, is harder still to keep

One wobble and the heart skips beats by the handful
Balance and composure regained with an effort
But for how long?
That effort takes its toll

The longer one struggles, the less one resists the possibility of failing in the end
Fatigue leads to acceptance

I’m getting tired

And so I wonder
What would happen?

What if
we were
to fall?

I say we because the distance between us
Is less than it seems
And if I go, I’m taking you with me

You see, we’re tied
We can’t explain by what
But we know it’s there
And we feel it as we try to bear
The weight of understanding

But let’s say we fall

We fall and we give up and we give in
And let gravity follow its whim

We might expect the worst
We have so much to lose
But there’s more to it than that

Disaster is easy to imagine
One’s life reduced to ashes by the flames of failure
The withered remains of joy shrouded by swirling smoke

Good fortune is more of a challenge
Takes more of an effort to envision
And doesn’t always look like we expect

In a flash, we lose our footing
Whatever supported us a moment ago
Well, it just isn’t there any more

First, a momentary weightlessness
For an instant we feel we might rise up
The possibility of flight
Lifted up by our desire
Just before consequence takes hold

And then

The drop

The moment of the drop is followed instantaneously by a conscious loss of any sense of security

A hopeless situation, we are powerless against gravity
So all we can do is give ourselves over to it
Because really, what other choice do we have?

Spinning in space, we circle each other
Drawn together by our own energy
Orbiting a common center
Like a pair of binary stars

We glimpse our rippling image below us
Reflected black on among bright lights on the water as we plummet
Winded and wordless
Holding tight as we can

Faster and faster, accelerating
The empty space below us diminishing
The surface rising up to meet us

Can I save us?
Can I protect you?
Can I swallow the sea?


We part the waters
A momentary cavitation before the cold
And wet
Close in around us

I pull you in close
The feeling of your nearness
The bliss welling up inside me
Overwhelming in its magnitude

I imagine my heart
See it fill and overflow, then burst
Shimmering fragments in an expanding cloud
Carried outward by the shockwave of our impact
Iridescent and sparkling, particles in suspension

The light of your being refracts through me
And sprays a rainbow on the void around us

All the color and joy of being together
Set against the abject terror of letting go
But the terror is an illusion, at best
So in the end the beauty stands alone

Because the color fills my soul
And as far as I fall down, so too do I rise up
And thus we might move together

I fear no fall, nor any impact

So come and shake me loose, already
I won’t fight it if you do
But rather welcome the invitation

I would gladly fall with you

Originally composed November, 2014

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