I Believe

I said, "I believe in my beliefs shaped by the path 
I have walked between mountains and across 
meadows."

She looked up from her book and said, "What
have you been reading so late into the night?"

I said, "The pinched nerve in my neck is killing
me so I have been reading about near-death
experiences."

She said, "Perhaps you should dwell on more
than the single-mindedness that results from
a maddening pain."

I said, "Can't you see that I am seeing crooked
holding my neck at a precarious angle to life
the whole day long?"

She said, "Come.  Lay your head on my breast
so that you fit with me exactly how you are 
and I will ease your pain."

A Love Letter

I said, "I have decided to give my life
the title 'Extreme Experiments.'"

She said, "Funny, I don't consider
myself extreme or experimental."

I said, "But you have given me
the possibility to recognize
a grander perspective."

She smiled.  "Two people.  Peculiar
lives.  Some shared space and time
spent in each other's arms makes
all the difference."

I smiled, too.  "I had no idea this
conversation was going to turn
into a love letter."

She said, "As one brilliant mind wrote,
'We complex people cannot retreat
to blockish simplicities.'"

A Room

During dinner I said, "My feet
are too large for my room."

She said, "Any room means riotous
wealth upon which you can walk."

I said, "But cramped living leads to small
bitternesses and resentments."

She added, "And also for cozy living
arrangements that call for lots of snuggling."

I smiled. "I welcome those small delights
which can be found when space is at a premium."

She said, "All of creation is one large room."

Next Door

I said, "In my childhood room I cried myself 
to sleep every night believing God was absent,
not realizing that God was the room."

She said, "And look at how many rooms
you have in your house today."

I added, "Though I tire myself out with 
the preponderance of dark thoughts 
and what seems to me to be their endless 
repetition."

She said, "You do such a great job
of taking the mystic's advice, greeting
them at the door, laughing."

I said, "Even the taste of laughter
in my mouth turns bitter with the
sorrow on the face of my neighbor."

She said, "Kiss me, so I can taste it
and then we can make brownies together
and take them next door to share."

Many Waters

I said, "I awoke this morning believing
waves are caused by dolphins."

She said, "If those waves don't drown us,
we can all play together at the water 
fountain park."

I asked, "Which do you like more: slides,
pools or jets of water intermittently
hurling out of nowhere?"

She answered, "I like it most when my
expectations are disastrously too low."

I remembered, "King David once wrote 
of how God draws us out of many waters."

She thought aloud, "I wonder what
the many waters may be."

Duplex Dream

I said, "Last night I dreamed of living 
in the lower level of a duplex."

She said, "Surely it was a nightmare
knowing the space where you lived
when I first met you."

I said, "Though my stay ended so lovely.  
You riding in on your beautiful stallion 
to save me."

She laughed.  "I remember calling out
for you to let down your hair so I could
pull you up."

I laughed too and added, "And here 
I had just taken the clippers to my hair."

She said, "And thus began our long
tradition of making do with what
the other has given to us."

Cram

     "But smaller bundles - Cram" - Emily Dickinson

I said, "On the way to loosening up,
stumbling blocks appear at random 
encountering my understanding."

She asked, "Do you want your days 
to be as easy as a bird of prey riding
the air, upheld by nothing?"

I answered, "I am looking for a way
to share my joy of living so others
may recognize what makes me smile."

She said, "In this time, the difference 
between recognition and figuring out 
what matters lasts only as long as the time 
it takes for a tear to slide down a cheek."

I asked, "Tell me, did yesterday's peculiar
ending shape the melancholic words
you speak today?"

She answered, "Halfway endings and 
unfinished finales and hazy outcomes
always, in the words of the poet, 'Cram.'"

Why not tell me?

Because.
Because we have a protocol to follow.
Because resistance grieves me.
Because I don't want to participate.
Because it is against my belief.
Because my health does not allow me.
Because someone is listening to us.
Because the metaphor doesn't make sense.
Because we are still walking the privilege walk.
Because the root cause has not been found.
Because the devotion of others has waned.
Because power has not been shared.
Because you shouldn't be in the loop.
Because I don't have time.
Because.

Storylines

I said, "The balance in my checking
account has reached a new high."

She replied, "Remember: narratives
of aggregates always serve wealth."

I agreed.  "I am aware of the different
storylines used by the storytellers."

She added, "And the layers of power,
hidden from most, continue to pull
the children from their families."

I asked, "What is the history in my 
particular landscape that tells where 
I am today?"

She answered, "You were the minority
when you arrived and, luckily, it turned 
out fine for you."