sit next to me

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sit next to me
at church
on the hard bench, peace sign sneakily carved in
and i’ll translate the hymns for you
every proclamation of god’s love and protection
will confirm that it’s not available to all
in him there is no darkness at all
i wonder how to get in him

sit next me
on your porch swing, you friend of 20 years
when you tell me you love me
i know how to lean in, our sweating glasses of cold wine clinking.
when you tell me nothing can change your love for me
my body stiffens and i swing:
first to quickly rebuild the walls, you don’t realize you just lied
then to roll over, a disarmed position of numb love
and finally the swinging stops and i arrive in the middle
aware of the arc

sit next to me
where there are children
and i’ll tell you how they feel
i’ll send your eyes to their bodies
the grown ups around them
the big boys near by
the big girls looking at them
the sun’s slant
the animals, the bugs, the concrete
teaching you what to notice
and what doesn’t matter

sit next to me
at the coffee shop
hard chairs grounding me
fingers hunting the keyboard
to find reason for what i fear
eyes scanning for home
i’ll angle the screen for you to read
while i breathe the comfort
that someone i don’t know
has written what i could have

sit next to me
and play a game of objects
show me anything and i’ll lead you
to the threat:
a pink and purple kleenex box
a picture of a newborn
a banana
a pair of flip flops
sunscreen
chunky knit winter hat
i’ll take you on the quick trip
to the signs of danger that each is
then i’ll tell you the only value of those trips now
is to take them for the last time

sit next to me
with a slick wooden bar between us
in a mysterious bubble of privacy in a crowd
and confide in me your story
my heart swells for you so much
i escape my own worth
keep talking and i’ll keep feeling
as i grab the roots and plants and pull myself back down
to keep from fleeing the fear
that i have nothing to complain about

sit next to me
by low light in a cozy room
and tell me the worst thing you can imagine
you might get uncomfortable
as i follow the tracks back and rationalize it
and if i can’t make sense of it
i’ll resign to the mystery of god
then tell me the most beautiful thing you can imagine
you might get sad
as i degrade every sweet nothing to a message of warning
and if i can’t articulate it
i’ll trust that the divine message will come to my prepared heart
and then my chest will burn and my eyes will close
and you might see tears push the boundaries of my eyes
as i recognize the filth of bullshit that this is

sit next to me
and enjoy the side show of my mind
the one that’s been fueling fear for so long
the reel that has surprised my therapist
only after it surprised me
the thoughts that are in honor of myself, my selves
the baby, 4 year old, 7 year old, 9 year old, 12 year old mes
the conditioned mind that the 40 year old manages
and the ageless one soothes
in a full spectrum of gray

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2 thoughts on “sit next to me

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