stumbling out of hibernation,
tripping over forgotten trenches,
pawing earth and grazing sustenance-
feeling slowly beats through
the heart's anesthetized state.
sleepy squints brush at the rise in light
filtering through winter's peel-
the periphery a golden crown,
its warmth shocking
each fossilized corpuscle.
my heart is begrudgingly resuscitated,
its memory impossible to delete,
the source resurrecting the impulses
unaware of what is harder to revive
than surviving what was
the cause of its initial incarceration.
In college, I fell for a boy. We two instantly connected to each other’s hearts. But like many boys in college, he found another connection. One that I could not be for him. It was slow coming, and painful for him to realize. I lived in a cloud of hopefulness and held fast to the love that we felt for each other, and the commitment that we made. Having given up all hope too many years in, he came to me … wanted me. I said yes. I felt like the bear in the cave coming out after a long winter of hibernation. But I came out … because he was stamped on my heart.
It didn’t take long though … January to August … until he realized that he feared the leap of faith. Characteristically, we were far away from home on a craggy cliff in the north of Ireland when he told me. And so heartbroken, I turned around, lived another week brutally disappointed, possibly shamed, and moved back to the cave that protected me from the icy chill and into the stale air that life without him left me.
stumbling toward hibernation,
pawing familiar tracks in darkness;
first frost, petal snow
whisper in the arctic air.
sadly, autumn's sleepy squint
neglects to reveal the inevitable-
that ice storms again to freeze
anything that may have held life.
I retreat into you
though suffocating in the stale air
trapped since my last sleep.
I think of that boy now. He is dead. He did come to me again … just a couple of years ago. We got lost in us. I was in it for … a lark, but for him … he seemed to hold tighter. I said, ‘what is it that you want from me?’ A question that I had never been able to ask before that moment. And when he said, ‘everything,’ I didn’t have that to give to him.
I’m not a bear. I have to live all of the months out in the world, unhidden-unforgotten.