The Nunnery, Part II: Living with an aching heart

I have loved. That I suppose is better than having never loved. I am not talking the love I have for my family or my friends or God, nature and creation. I mean the love of lovers. And just when I was ready to tell you, you go away. I still don't know your reasons. I miss you, I love you. But its been a month since I heard your vioce. Our last conversation gave no hint that you were leaving me.

for you
i would no longer pick
my so-pickable nose
or bite my delicious nails

for you i would fix my teeth
and buy a mattress

for you
i'd kill my favorite roach
that lives in the woodwork
by the drawing table*

I never let myself dare to love before. But you...You made me feel ways I had never dared to hope for. With you I am comfortable and safe. I feel secure and unashamed when we are intimate. I loved that though you drank Budweiser, we could take about politics, social justice, and making the world better than we found it. With you I dared to hope that I had found someone who could love me, even with all of my neuroses and scary damaged places.

Yeah that was
once in a lifetime

you gotta be clean and
with new shoes
to love like I loved you.

I think it won't happen again.*

But even though I love you so "ten dollar bill," you can't just disappear on me for a month--with only a vague email. Maybe if I were doing my research in Italy or if you were home in Kenya, I could understand going so long with such sparce communication. But as far as I can tell we are 30 minutes apart on opposite sides of the same city. And really it is indicitive of how you have always behaved...you made feel like I was a convience. That time with me only worked when it convient for you, that you were always holding back a little. But I loved you, and I knew that if you would just let down your guard we would have what I think we are both looking for. With you I knew I wasn't settling, but I would need a lot of patience. And if you were to show up on my doorstep tonight unannounced, I would be more than happy to welcome you back into my life.

damn you
you come and go
like rivers
which makes it hard
on rocks*

So how do you go about a breakup, when it isn't what your heart desires? I pray to god that I can find a way to work this out. That you will come back. That whatever happens things will resolve in a way where you and I can be happy and whole. Because even though I don't want to lose you, I want the best for you. Which is ironic because you won't do better than me.

In case you put me down I put you down
already, doll
I know the games you play

In case you put me down I got it figured
how there are better mouths than yours
more swinging bodies
wilder scenes than this.

In case you put me down it won't help much.*

Back to the nunnery with me. I don't like to date, too much effort and energy goes into it. I made an exception for you. I love you and god bless. And though I don't want to do it, I can't just keep waiting on you. Either come back and give me as much as I give you...or goodbye. It hurts, believe me. And I wish there wasn't such a large part of me hoping that you will return to me...

you are not quite
the air I breathe
thank god

so go. *

*All poems (in purple) are from More or less love poems by Diane DiPrima


Elizabeth Bathurst said...

Da Capo

Take the used-up heart like a pebble
and throw it far out.

Soon there is nothing left.
Soon the las ripple exhausts itself
in the weeds.

Returning home, slice carrots, onions, celery.
Glaze them in oil before adding
the lentils, water, and herbs.

Then the roasted chestnuts, a little pepper, the salt.
Finish with goat cheese and parsley. Eat.

You may do this, I tell you, it is permitted.
Begin again the story of your life.

-Jane Hirshfield

James Naylor said...

I tried to make soup. It hasn't worked. I just have a used-up heart and sore eyes. Why can't things be easier?