Monday, May 25, 2015

Storm Chaser (for Doug)






For Doug


Tell me a secret. Tell me something you've never told anyone.

You lie and say you've told me everything.

Abridged thirty-seven years inside two bookends holding twenty-four months together.

Do you expect me to believe this?  You, great lover, expert back scratcher, intense warrior,
Receiver of the universe's kindness and the internal dweller of monsters so violent at night they steal your very breath?

You of physical weariness both phantom and real and tears big and wet and spilling oceans at a time?

(In the shadow of your neck, I think, I've never seen a man cry like that)

You ask your god for a distraction and he listens.
The earth growls, flashes a signal.

You turn away from me and stand, walk to the window, pull back the blinds, and reveal vast miles of shattered, broken sky.

We love these storms, you and I.
Its rage immobilizes our stillness.
We make love to them, fly high with them,
Wrangle their fury inside our fingertips,
Press flesh against heated flesh, turn water into fire,
Treat the earth's self-infliction like a balm to our unhealing.

Then we hang over the balcony and cross our fingers, asking for more.

There's a storm brewing inside the closed circle you keep closed and circled and you place your hands together and ask for it to end but sometimes I wonder.

When the phone rings you view its screen wearily.
The news is always different but the same,
And you choose to believe one day it will be different in a different way but it never is.  

I don't understand and you know it.

You harden at the tongue of my logic and leave for another room to the outstretched arms of a distraction that is slowly killing you from within.

It's bad when I ask for your secrets. It's even worse when you confide in me and I dismiss you at the first signs the levee is failing because the bad news from other people who aren't you isn't what I want to hear.

I want to hear more about you, not about the squeaky wheels in your life that you refuse changing.

I wonder aloud (my words slapping cuffs on the silence you prescribe carefully constructed avoidance),

Hey baby,

Why are you relying on the wind from another sea to direct your sail?
What happened to your November suspicion?
Why don't you demand more answers?
What jealous angel clipped your wings, told you eagles were meant to climb trees?
Who advised you that sacrifice was the only way to live?

You tell me it's nothing, shut up about it,
But in a nice way, in a way I can forgive.

This is its own storm too.

(In the valley of your chest I think two things:
It's hard to love a man who loves the unlovable,
It's hard to love a man who is loved by everyone but himself.)

You've said I have a callous heart but that's not true.
We simply love in different ways.

I learned love from my mother.
Nurturing others means teaching them to nurture themselves.

You were not broken when I found you. Merely chipped.
Trust me, you are salvageable. 
I could never love what I couldn't fix. 
I'm not a humanitarian. I'm into cats.

I am the sky that rips its skin, punctures the membrane to drip the poison out from within.
I self-preservationalize. I rationalize: there's more room outside than in.

You are the ground, you are the soil collecting cries for help and absorbing them like its your place to hold the world together, and in holding in the damage forever it carves canyons in your landscape.

You are smarter, wiser, stronger than the rest of us. Perhaps you think it's up to you to carry the weak.

I wouldn't know. You never tell me the things that matter.

But, Love -

I have ten fingers and two hands and they are stretched out in your direction. I am not as strong as you and the universe has long dropped me from its gift list and maybe my heart could use a gym membership but if I can and if you'll let me, I'll soften the blows you're so hellbent on taking for others.

Turn my direction. The storm is ending.

Or is it too late? Have you internalized that collapsing circle?
Does it wear the shape of your heart?
Is it corroding and do you believe that's the price you pay for chasing storms, for standing by the window safe inside your secrets, nurturing the war with wet eyes and fresh scars until love drowns you in its cannibal clouds?  

- Erin Passons, 5-25-2015
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