It’s been a hard week to choose what to write about, what poems to choose, etc. One of the strangest things of my life is of the three great loves of my life, two were born within this week. One of my best friends, who I wrote a whole book of poetry about was also born this week. It wouldn’t be so strange, that she was born in this week; however, as I was going through my divorce (one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to go through) my friend would call and talk on the phone with me. It became this game where we’d tell each other these stories where we were going to ‘run away,’ and we’d add these fun little details. One night after we talked, I went home and wrote the first poem, which would become a series of poems (a book basically) about these stories. I would send them to her and we’d laugh. The travelogue we created became a bunch of poems and did a lot of healing for me in a time I really needed something to focus on. I will most likely post that poem this week sometime. So, it’s this week and I have tons of poems about these three individuals. I don’t know what it is about women born at the end of June, but they must be my type. I believe love is love and people have many great loves in their lives. Early on in my work as a therapist, I would listen to people, who at the time were older, as I was a relatively young, new therapist, and I would hear them tell me about their relationships. Many had been in multiple relationships; however, most of the time there were 3-4 that stuck out, either through marriage or just by description or self-reflection. I remember I saw a woman once and she had three major relationships. She had her first husband, whom she was married to for quite a while, who fathered her children. She had a man she briefly was with for a couple years and then he tragically, unexpectedly passed, and she was currently with a man whom she had been with for many years. They lived together and were happy but never married. As I listened to her, I always wondered if she had someone who was the love of her life. I had an idea by the tone, the way she talked, etc. I realized she loved all of them, but they all felt so different in how she loved them. At the end of therapy, I asked her, if she considered any out of the three to be ‘the love of her life.’ She told me what I had expected to hear that the middle man was definitely the ‘love of her life.’ I guess I wanted to know because I could hear she loved them all; however, when she talked about the middle man, it was different. There was this peace and this joy. It was interesting to see. Over the years, I’ve asked many people who the love of their life is/was. In so many cases, it was not the person they were with the longest or who they married. Those relationships seemed to be more determined by ‘time,’ (meaning; the person’s readiness). Often, the person’s ‘love of their life,’ was this person who came into their world (often for a couple years or so) and almost changed their definition of what it meant or means to be loved. In listening to stories about them, you feel like the person is describing ‘a teacher,’ almost. Often, just as many people find the person they will marry when they’re ready to marry, the love of the person’s life often seemed to come at a time when they were not ready or circumstances had them somewhere else. The love of my life is not the girl in the poem that I tell the secret to loving me. It was the girl who I never had to tell this secret to because she automatically did it to me (if you’re confused the poem will explain). In many ways, the poem is a poem about heartbreak, but it’s also about realizing you shouldn’t have to tell someone how to love you. The love of your life will know. In my case, she did just know. PS: I really wanted to choose a different picture. The pictures on here sometimes are a little bit like wedding albums when it comes to couples pictures, but even though it’s cheesy, I was so drawn to this picture. I just kept looking at his facial expression and hers and I could feel the way they felt drawn to each other and adored by each other. I look at it and I see her and I.
I have told one woman the secret to winning my heart.
It was a dank room, blinds drawn
so the heat would not find us. Joy
Was singular, verbiage of being. I was
More man than I ever been. My arms were
Deeper than bodies of water with currents
That sank great ships. She laid in them,
Floated to the bottom and imprinted her body
In the sandy body as if she were the Edmund Fitzgerald
Or the Titanic. I could see her drowning,
Being absorbed. Always such a delicate rootling.
She was easy to hold, the dog and pony act
Of simple happiness was show stopping. I have never
Forgotten those eyes, vast and echoing
Like opening a door to the cathedrals of Europe. I paced
Around in her holy space, I could have been
Dressed in vestibules, calling benediction, or
Lingering like the smell of incense. Those eyes
With hummingbird lashes batting
Reminded me much of my grandmother’s finch feeder
From which hummingbirds often grazed.
She loved me because she thought I was Holden Caulfield.
Like all male English majors, I have only Joni Mitchell
To thank as the reason she loved me in the first place.
In the dark room, with records on repeat,
She believed I would not live long,
So she kissed me and opened a book
Each word, & her eyes would flutter
Each syllable was eternal life,
Sometimes I lost the words in her beauty.
It was like I was standing by train tracks
Close enough to watch passengers on the train
Stare out the window, when something is moving so fast,
They believe no one will see their eyes. I did.
I was close enough to see eyes, souls, and secrets.
Strong enough to lose track of my proximity
To the train, and she hit me hard. So hard.
I have never been conscious enough or felt safe enough
To get that close to anything or to tell another woman
To love me and win my heart, you must read to me.