Ladybugs

You text me that you
had a dream about her
I was looking for endearments
to use with her
and you felt uncertain
of the ground under our feet
of the space between us
but that when this happens
when the twinge starts
you always come back to desiring
what makes me happiest

I tell you that I desire for you
to meet and, though I do not dare
speak this, to fall in love with,
your handsome Spanish-speaking
accomplished dance lead
and that this brings up in me
the less-than, the feeling
that when you find him, when
you are in his arms, he will be
everything I am and more

You tell me, you can’t imagine
ever deciding that I am not part
of your life, that word ‘ever’
rings in my heart the whole day
and still is, days later;
your affirmation that my place
in your heart is steady, even when
inevitable change comes,
dries out the quicksand
under my feet, that had been
slowly oozing up my ankles

I have this image of your heart
a sphere of gold-blue-violet fire
swirling fiercely but calmly
your brilliant radiance, and within,
your deepest pains hidden away;
I dip my hand in, reaching
toward where your hurts live
gently pulling and coaxing til I
hold them at last in my hands
to weep about, and then to release
into the air, butterflies
ladybugs, painted buntings of remorse
and grief and shattered time
flying away, lightening our hearts
with the beauty of their flight
then, finally, the places where those hurts
had lived, become free, at last
to hold only complete joy.

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