I want to see it the way it is
And push the sunglasses up, resting them like skylights on my parted hair.
I’ll take these colors, these ones, unfiltered, un-pink and un-amber.
This is love, here. I will face colors un-borrowed. Murky blue of dusk, grays laying over oranges.
With that, this voice, this synthesized, smooth coiling of sound?
Never sounded that way, not two inches away, not three.
There is no breath, only vocal cords made of shiny vinyl; tidy, precise, liquid, limber.
Mom says it like a truism, I can’t sing
But her breath-born songs lifted me gently into sleep
With the rhythmic creak of the rocking chair and her warm arms encircling
I am so safe here. This is love, here.
I carry it yet, the warmth and the quiet safety; it’s a slow burn inside.
This is love, here. Realest mother and realest voice singing and the soul alight with fire.
Now and then I rage at myself, my stupidest self that cringes when
Every way I fail is thrust, clattering, onto the stage, an awkward pile
A silent audience. A heckler calls out: Missed appointment! Lost library book! Overgrown lawn! FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!
Face flat upon the floor, my words echoing back in tight syllables, lips moving feverishly against the wood, wet with words-become-vapor.
My explanations rise and fall back around my head, too heavy to fly. I try, I try, I try.
I turn my head, rolling it on that hard floor, my cheek resting in the dampness of my words.
His eyes meet mine, where he lays beside me like a twin starfish, limbs akimbo, eyes waiting.
You try, I see you.
His eyes crinkle at the corners; his eyes smile. The warmth flares and I feel higher than the floor.
This is love, here. Seeing me, down here with me, lifting.
Let me step out of this, this ever-tidy shell and farce
If I am loved I can unmask
I can un-cringe and un-explain
I can fail without despair.
This is love, here. Naked and poor. Smiling.