It seems as if we’ve been intimate for as long as I can remember, even though it’s only been a little over four months. I suppose this is where I should start.
I’m grateful it took so long to become acquainted with one another. Thirty-one years seems like quite a long time of living without you, especially when there is life to be considered. The possibilities for death seem endless, yet I never knew death. The reality of heartache and depression and sorrow seem almost inevitable in this life, yet I somehow managed to escape their grip. Nor have I known the pain of a life that didn’t turn out like I hoped, something I was always frightened of.
Was it simply my good fortune we haven’t met for so long? Was it my background or family or decision making? Was it a fluke?
I guess it’s neither here nor there. Everything happened and nothing happened all at once, preventing our paths from crossing, allowing my innocence and happiness to fill your absence. I suspect you were always right there, weren’t you? Waiting for me if the time came.
And then, of all the beating hearts that had to stop, it was my daughter’s.
You stretched out your hand and I didn’t accept.
I held my hands behind my back and closed my eyes.
I’m strong enough, I tell myself.
I peaked at you.
Before I could reach up, you reached down.
I lie on the ground, beaten and bruised, empty and bloody.
You flood my mind and heart, I almost drown.
Your weight is a thousand pounds, I can hardly breathe.
I can’t do this, I tell myself.
On my knees in the mud, clawing ahead, clawing together.
The mud turns to grass and then back to mud.
My knees become my feet and then I’m back to my knees.
The months go on, we trudge together through the storm.
Sometimes on my own, sometimes with K.
Sometimes with her.
Sometimes with a thousand others, with all of history, we trudge.
Sometimes I see friends, on a parallel path, with dead babies, with you, in the mud.
They whisper over to us, you are not alone.
A friend you have become, a friend you are.
You are my dark cloud and my hopeful sun.
To whatever may come, to however long we will be intimate, I reach out my hand in surrender.