Friday, December 17, 2004

Love Poems

I'm dealing with the depression that comes when a romance is over. I've been gathering my thoughts, but I'm not doing very well. From the first, this was a problematic love. Early on, a phrase came to me that I wrote on a postit and stuck to my monitor, "It is as it should be."

What is it about love that makes one write poetry? It seems to me the feeling is just too large to try containing it in prose. Poetry has that odd conundrum of containing more form, more containment, to express these uncontainable things. I wrote some good, some bad. I could never get a response from him. After a brief period in the beginning, he stopped responding to anything I wrote, I think because he wasn't as good at writing. I was left with communication in person and by phone, and he excelled at verbal communication, or should I say, manipulation. So I was left with pouring my heart into it and getting no response. At least with the final of the poems to him he volunteered that he didn't understand it.

I did see him one last time because I wanted to express somehow that there was some nobility to my love. My love was obsessive, lusty, hungry, but I also hoped my loving him could do him some good. I thought long and hard about what I would say. I had a vision of using an arrow, and I thought of the Zen saying, "like arrows meeting in midair." I knew I might only have one chance to find that elusive target, and wrote a small bit on a postit that also made its way to my monitor:

For the arrow
to strike at
the heart of the matter,
be very clear.
Depend on only
One shot.

I told him I hoped his heart would break over the way he hurts people. Of course he received that defensively, but calmed down when I explained that until he could open to such feeling, he couldn't love, couldn't be happy. He understands the harm he's done intellectually, but doesn't feel it. I told him that if or when that happened, I hoped he would remember that a good woman had chosen to fall in love with him knowing that he would break her heart. He couldn't understand that, why someone would choose something that would be so painful. I told him maybe he didn't need to understand it now, but I hoped he would then.

Some good things have come from this. He really wasn't good for me. Once it was over I could look with a critical eye at the ways in which he would deliberately hurt me, chisel little pieces out of my self-esteem, and I realized I really want to do things for me now. I want to be healthier in spirit, emotions, and body, and I made some commitments to that end. I have begun writing and meditating with a feeling of coming home that I haven't felt in years. I have begun some exercises that I find bearable. I told a friend that I felt I had come full circle in this journey of love when I really fell in love for the first time seven years ago, and had my heart broken then.

I'm not out of the woods yet, as I confess in this poem I wrote on December 9, 2004. I don't plan on sharing it with him.

An Avowal

I knew
I knew
that it was

but I didn't want
to look.

like the south pole
of a magnet
repulsed by the south pole

my gaze slid
away from those thoughts

...that remnants
of low self-esteem
had been triggered

that karmic ghosts
who don't believe
I deserve better
had been awakened

that somehow
if I tried hard enough
I could make him
love me.

easier to indulge
and fantasize
towards the north pole

attracted to those
sensuous tingles
those dangerous mysteries

never mind that
I could become trapped
unable to extricate myself

with that shadowy underside
tainting the goodness.

I wanted to stretch
the thrill

make it last longer
go deeper.

look too long
at that creepy undercurrent
and I knew the thrill
would fizzle

the poles
might just switch

and I would return
to my normal attractions
less wickedly painful.

I don't yet
trust myself

the attraction
of north to south
still tugs at me

I wanted
to lock them
in place.

I still fantasize
about chance meetings

and passions
overcoming integrity

and pain
so delicious.

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