This desire is beyond me.

Though it stems from my essence

it is a vast ocean of longing 

that drowns any who would dare peer into the deep.

 

Mystics know that only such an unstoppable force can create life.

I trust the heart that made this wish.

I trust the thrust of evolution,

the wild unwinding of this tightly coiled yearning.

This illustrious hiss of serpent stirring my soil.

 

I want him. 

 

Though I know he's only a metaphor.

A mirror melting and molten

an image of perfect absolution

in the arms of the Beloved.

   who could only ever be inside me.

Though my skill at projection 

defeats my remembrance of origination.

And I long for the comfort of sight and touch.

 

All I want is love. We seem to think it's all we need.

As Juliet whispered to the moonlit face of her other

"The more I give to thee, the more I have,"

But that story haunts us with its tragedy,

not the reminding of love's infinitude.

Like this drama of self pulling against self,

set against the backdrop of memory,

past or future, 

of one perfect night.

That one perfect night when I got my wish.

That has not yet been, and yet always lives in that realm

just outside of our field of vision.

And though life can give us what is asked,

it never guarantees duration

or satiation.

Or that it will match the magnificence

of our imagination.

 

Can I love myself enough?

Can I sit in deserving fully enough,

to taste the nectar of adoration?

Or will I clasp the poisonous asp to my breast 

like the unrequited lover of old?

I can only ever hold either of those insubstantial alliances for a moment

before the longed-for embrace takes the life it gives.

Like the shadowed serpent,

what I think I want has been cast so far away by the very fear of not having,

which is only ecliped by the fear of actually having,

that I am left alone with my wanting,

rather than risking the letting go that quickly follows such ecstasy.

It must be so,

else I would not have known bliss and agony in such rapid succession

with such relentless repetition.

 

In the still, soft dark of the quiet night.

Longing for a specter of a memory,

a wafting intangibility,

that for a moment let me taste the fruit of wholeness.

And yet was but a shade of what could be.

 

Desire

     is beyond me.

 

I cannot fight it, fear giving into it, 

feel dead when I turn away from it.

and lost when I look its way.

No power of choice,

no carefulness of voice,

no force of will,

can make the fallen a Queen again.

 

But perhaps I can choose the manner of sacrifice

or rather,

that which is given.

The spell has been cast,

the fate sealed,

the fire inevitable,

the thirst unquenchable.

But perhaps the gift is in the intractable inevitability

of this human frailty.

The fulfillment wiser than the plan.

And offering all the broken pieces,

in all their imperfect glory,

will bring me to the edge of history.

And give me what I truly wanted,

under the face of the longing,

 and beyond any inessential wish.

Sometimes it’s a joke both of you know is not really funny

but in that moment you laugh richly, 

and for a hair’s breadth 

the pain subsides.

Clarity rushes in,

and you can open your tear-filmed eyes

and blood-thump muffled ears 

a little wider,

to receive the next instructing,

the next diagnostic prodding.

It’s the sincere warning that it will hurt, a lot,

and she is not sure if it will work,

but that she will do her best.

Or that she takes the time to ask how to pronounce your name, 

even if you are one of a dozen people she will see that day,

and tells you how well you are doing,

through the panting breath and unintelligible moaning.

 

It’s the realization of the preciousness of true connective presence

when most people walk by you on the sidewalk

with the speed you knew just a few days ago,

but now seems like a dream clouded over with sharp despair;

the few who offer help,

who give even a sympathetic gaze,

who say with words or eyes 

“I see that you are suffering now, and I wish you well,”

remind you that there is still humanity

in humans.

That we’ve all been here, 

in some way or other.

And to be humbled is to open

to a deeper level of compassion.

 

It is easy to forget the definition of care

in a world where nearly everyone is stuck in survival mode.

Seemingly unavoidable to let selfishness build wall after wall around our hearts’ homes,

until all we ever see are each other’s backs,

or the ubiquitous resting bitch face that cannot register

recognition of another soul,

because the facade is so disconnected from the center. 

 

I want to live in a world where we care about each other.

Where we show that care as if our lives depend on it.

Because it does, it does.

And a moment in a care center 

helps me remember

that people can do just that, not only as a function,

but as a gift.

Gift given,

duly received.

Piper paid

by the ways we say “yes,

thank you, more please.”

 

Gift given.

More than I receive.

We partake in the majesty

when we think in terms of “we.”

 

We are this gift given. 

Most notably esteemed

in the ways we open the portals and chasms

of this pulsing home,

this eternal tome

in which are written the secrets of true cognition.

This patter-patter nothing is the matter,

lub-dub everything is matter

everything matters

everything is a part of the pulse.

 

Rhythmic vibrations of life’s fluctuations,

given, received, as simple as I breathe.

In and out.

Expand, contract.

Life’s primordial law exemplified

in every rising wave and receding tide.

 

Gift given,

duly received.

When we give from our hearts,

we get all we need.

But not by trying to get

Nothing can be bought from life,

not even more time.

Especially if we believe it only moves in a line.

We are not for getting,

don’t let yourself forget,

this life is for giving

and thus, forgave.

Day in, day out,

from birth to grave.

Not a line, this living,

a pulse, a rhythm.

From the grandest star to the smallest cell,

breathing defines every particle.

 

Gift given,

duly received.

What if our gazes continually returned

to the emanation of the inquiry: “What can I give?”

How would we live 

if that question 

began each day, 

each moment, each exhalation?

And inhalations allow us to realize

every breath is a new beginning

of the same old thing.

We are offered every moment, 

this air, these bodies, this precious life.

Everything a gift.

Flowing out, flowing in,

to be given yet again.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry