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The Irresistible Invitation

I hear your call: the invitation. Your call is insistent, almost irresistible…

and yet I hesitate,

vacillate;

hand10I see your outstretched hand, and I want to…

It’s just that I’m afraid and

hence the air of bravado, the gregariousness

that I despise in others: the stupid sham.

But I put it on anyway, even in layers.

I pretend to believe that it covers me,

covers the bruises left by emotional abuse;

the scars left by rejection.

I smile the smile that has dazzled hundreds, laying it on thick,

surprised and dismayed that it never fails to fool the rest. Aye, the fools!

The heartless fools. But you were never deceived.

I wink the wink that has smitten them in droves,

pucker and pout and raise and eyebrow: make a suggestion

that leaves them thinking they thought of it

and baby somebody’s gonna get hurt, but I’ll make sure it’s not me.

Oh, God! They don’t SEE…

But I know you see. With loving eyes

you penetrate the disguise

removing each layer (OW! Could you be more gentle?!) as I wince in pain

embarrassed and ashamed.

You don’t blanch at the ugliness, the stench of ill-treated sores.

You dress my wounds, bathing them in your tears (of joy?)

It is for this that you have called to me!

And now I recognize you for the Wounded Healer that you are.

I want you for my own!

…But you have others to attend to…

2007. Dedicated to Henry J. Nouwen, author of “The Wounded Healer.”

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Man, but didn’t we laugh, though?

couple_729-620x349

Boy, but didn’t we laugh, though?

Sneaking in , right under their noses, no less

to explore each other,

Investigate;

Research.

Smiling through our kisses

While our hearts ached at the impossibility of it all,

The daydream;

The nightmare.

Pretending we didn’t know better,

We lied to make it better;

Making promises that would evaporate

With the dew on the grass in the morning sunshine.

Suffocating each other with kisses

And hardly able to keep up the frenzied rhythm

We set up with our bodies,

We crashed…only to begin again.

Oh! The sweet emergency of it all!

Dying to be together, we acted as though we could,

And snickered at everything,

Joked about everything, so lighthearted.

And held onto each other for life, wide-eyed in the silence.

In the dark.

Promising even that last day

That last time

That last kiss

That last smile…

Promising we would see each other again;

That we would belong to each other for the rest of our lives.

Sitting here now

Wondering where you are,

Wiping away the tears you would not allow me

To cry back then, I think, “What the hell was so funny…?”

Man, but didn’t we laugh, though?

5/06

1

This Do in Remembrance of Me

I see the green toweluntitled

     and I remember.

I more than remember.

A flood of smells, sounds and other sensations

     wash over me,

crashing upon my awareness for the thousandth time.

I stand still; experience tells me the waves will pass.

But for now I am moved.

I am more than moved.

 The unbidden waves of remembrance threaten to knock me down:

The movement of your body against mine, in mine.

You are drenched, spent in every way.

Panting, hardly able to catch your breath,

you plead simply,

“Prestame la toalla.”

I move obediently in the dark to obey.

My life is to obey…or so it was.

I am keenly aware of your every motion in the darkness:

You rub the musky towel vigorously over every part of your body,

and I want to help you:

Your hair, your back, your chest…

My life it to help you…or so it was.

You will be healed through the blood I have shed;

You will be happy through my tears.

And it is a fair exchange. The sweat of your brow

 has brought me to life

Tonight.

Today

I hold the green towel and I hear,

“This is my body that was broken for you…”

But something seems wrong with that thought.

The seemingly merciless waves have subsided

and I wonder why I am clutching this green towel.

I remember myself.

There are other things that must be done around here.

©2006