She was my safest place to meet myself and her
in the dimness we pulled up the sheet and lie beneath.
Sacred rituals to incite confession and be forgiven, healed
what hard autonomy broke within us,
what dependencies had crucified trust.
Am I really a snail after all
if I can’t leave that shell?
The fear so deep that I might never hear again
spoken echoes of the heart
as close as skin and lips.
Fears of drowning in pretense or silence
to be drawn by these tides back out to sea
where air and water are enemies.
When can love never say, ‘I love you’?
It’s too kind and gentle not to be heard
even as a widow of romance.
So strange and cruel these depths we build
stair by stair to consciousness
to now fall on concrete slabs.
Then I thought…
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