I was born to walk long roads alone
and I have done it. one in particular I remember
and dream about: the grey pavement with a long
white line stretching until it disappeared in a small point
like the line I was born to trace around
a canvas, measuring the slight barrier between
who I am and who they are.
the slight barrier, the permeable border.
I was born to cry into my paintbox
take handfuls of paint out and crush
them onto dry surfaces, breathe paint fumes deeply.
there are so many things in this world to weep about.
the children alone. so few to see and weep.
so few willing to make colours into dreams, pray murmered
words over faint photographs.
a painting becomes a name, the right to have a name.
I was born to string words onto a thin thread,
like beads. one after the other, making long trains that
tie up my life, keep it steady. muttering always, frowning
away. words bring life, the spoken word creating,
the written one a record of the creation.
life becomes visible.
the perfect word will set me free.
I was born to give birth, to labour long and intensely.
to have utter joy at the first breath. the slippery body,
warm skin. the perfect comfort of the breast, new eyes
squinting into bright light. that first meeting,
we look at each other and love without knowing.
soft speech, but mostly we just look.
this part I do well.
I was born to find my love and comfort him. to be
comforted by him. has there ever been any love like ours?
our dark nights, the words that should never be said
forgiveness like deep waters. light comes into the room
when he does, his voice finding me lost,
bringing me back.
I never was beautiful until he saw me.
I was born to look for hope until my eyes sting
with the strain. to wait and watch through the night
to shrug off gentle tries until finally I am broken
clearly unlovable. clearly loved. this is what I was born for:
to finally stop fighting and listen. to be soft. to thaw.
God beside me takes my clenched hands and opens them
this is the way He is, broken things are made new.