An Invitation to Let Go
Do you know of the heart’s pulse –
its rapid penetration, crowding up against chest walls
when words are no longer enough to capture
the gut-wrenching shrill of a lover’s presence?
Is it not magnificent? Are there not layers of childhood
fantasy lush enough to abolish any marauding thought
of doubt, relentlessly pushing its way into your skull,
because love that perfect – we have been told – is
But you know – like me – that is not true.
That peasant mornings are but an inkling of possibility;
there are miracles lining the walls of this earthly cavern
we share. And lovers, loves – they hold clandestine truths
in the touches of their hands; I have felt these ancient secrets
before from my lover’s touch – how he ushers me vulnerable
and all the sacred layers of antiquity awaken my senses.
Do you know this love?
Do you know the way lovers can nurse each other through sickness and health?
Do you know of Phillip’s father Mitchell, and Mitchell’s partner Hank,
and how the pancreatic cancer ate Mitchell’s body, and how Hank spoke at
Mitchell’s memorial service, and how Phil sang, and how we all cried, and how
humanity belongs to all of us and isn’t there a death of spirit when we chastise
one another for our hearts, for that which the body cannot help, for the gut-wrenching
shrill of a lover’s presence?
What of Mitchell and Hank, what of their love, do you know of this love?
Of this companionship? Of this sanctioned love unable to wed because some
ancient scripture used words like “abomination” and “lay” and “man” in the same
sentence and don’t you realize that I can feel those ancient war cries in my sacrum
when my lover touches my pelvis with his lips. I can feel antiquity jostling my hips.
I can taste the freedom of love and I know it smells like infinity and isn’t that
the purest form of G-d? And when did G-d ever taste like discrimination because
I can feel the emptiness of fear in the questions against lovers because what
questions are there really ever to push against lovers because lovers are lovers
and isn’t that the most natural thing you’ve ever heard of? The way a sacrum
melts into infinity – that kind of thing – isn’t that enough?
Copyright © 2012 by Caroline Rothstein.