Various and Sundry Poetry

to love what we love















In the retelling, we’ll say we surrendered. We’ll say it was fate.
There is the sweet narrative we’ll draft from the complicated geography
that somehow pulled our continents together. We’ll chart the tides,
the turning leaves, the particular intelligences responsible for how the story
found its edge, that pivotal moment of knowing.

But first, what must birth out of us is trouble,
heart-legs buckling under, the muscle shoring us to solitude
sliced limp. The devastation will not be minor.
We will cut and claw ourselves away from the sharp, new light.
We will brutalize ourselves with escape.

But out of this flight and anguish a vacancy will appear,
hollowness we will mistake, initially, as loss. Here, here is where
the real beginning begins, swiping us naked from our hiding place,
imprinting the true permeability of our skin. We will be astonished
we are even alive. The cold air will feel like the slimmest kind of luck.

And then, this: A space will warm and soften around us.
We will gather the silence in at the corners.
We will squint at this unfamiliar shape of peace.
And from here, fresh breathing room for love, our bodies leaning to a steady
fibrillation, the hum of a radiator underneath the floorboards,
our mouths petal-wet, opening to the first, honest kiss.

We won’t be able to stop it. Coming alive is impossible to fix
into a single embrace. The dismantling will pull the river out of us,
and we will fall against the other in a wellspring of raw relief.
The language will be a stranger on our tongues but
we will understand it perfectly: to love what we love
is an undoing, a deliberate fall with our palms out,
hunger with the grief torn out of it. If it is surrender,
it is to the confession that we are worthy. If it is fate,
it is to the irrepressible freedom that bubbles from our darkest places.

There is no going back, our gaze wrenched away
from a lock-jawed past, the bones of us already fusing,
the sky wide above in the perfect V of flocking geese,
and a clear and faithful morning
welcoming us awake.