Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Heart Wide Shut

I don’t seem to fit.
I am not what you want, he wants, she wants.
Not what they want, we want, I want.

I want so much to be real, to be pure.
Transparent as a stained-glass window,
But broken.

Broken, shattered slivers
Shards that pierce and purify
Scattered and gathered, discarded and hoarded,
Locked up and forgotten, cornered and caged.

Caged by my fear,
By your lack of intuition,
Limited vision
Reluctant decision,

Decision to breathe
To release, to be free
Of the walls that won’t fall.
Too weak to be open and too strong to bend.

Bend till I break
Till I blend, till I bleed
I keep changing my skins
Weaving a shell, thick and calloused
Snugly curl in, cocooned.

Cocooned in my aloneness
Comforted by the familiar terror
Tempting, tantalizing, luring
Lulling me to lose myself
Till I no longer recognize
The unrelenting need.

Need to please, need to be
More than I am.
Not enough,
But too much.
Less than all
Of too many hopes and dreams.

Dreams that haunt
This waking nightmare,
Full of dangerous wonder and reckless beauty
Never to be grasped.
Eyes, tight open
Heart, wide shut.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

You See

You look at me
And you see
Your glance takes me in

First my eyes
Wide and blue-green
Colors shifting, dancing
Corners turned up from my smile
You see my eyes and note their intensity.
Yes, you see my eyes.

You see my mouth next
Rosy-red, lips full
Teeth in neat, polished rows behind them
You catch the shy pink dart of my timid tongue
And observe a freckle on my lip
You see my mouth.

Your observe my hair
Not the blond of the noon-time sun
Nor the black of the midnight sky
But hovering in the magic of the in-between times
Tinged with red like the dusk, sunset, twilight
It falls in waves and swirls
Past my shoulders and down my back
And you reach to brush that one curl
That consistently tumbles out of place
Across my forehead
And I know that you see my hair.

You see my form
My shoulders slim and squared
My arms lean and strong
You linger on my gently curving waist
My flat, smooth stomach
Wide, swaying hips
The full swell of my breasts
You remark on my hands
Small, almost delicate but with stubby fingers
And my short feet
Toenails painted bright red
You see my form.

You have become familiar with the expressions of my face
The dimples that frame my lips in a smile
The lines at the corners of my eyes in anxiety
The deep crease of my forehead in anger
You see my expressions.

You look at me
And you see
Your gaze rakes me over
And you smile
You are pleased.

But you are a stranger to the forces and experiences that have shaped those expressions
You remain unacquainted with the intricacies of my emotions
The excruciating joys, the crushing sorrows that I have known
You completely disregard the works of creativity brought forth by my hands
And you know nothing of the long roads pounded beneath my feet
You don’t spare a thought for the pangs and hungers that stalk inside my stomach
The great cravings for a love, a life, a destiny
You have never even noticed the depth of the heart that beats beneath my breast
Nor have you considered what might make it swell or break
You care not for the weight that is supported by my slight frame
The concern for others that I shoulder myself
The expectations of others that have been foisted against my will
You care nothing for the mind that hides snugly underneath my hair
Or for the carefully cultivated convictions that reside there
You miss the words that pour from my mouth
In an idiosyncratic jumble of wisdom and folly
As their subjects scale peaks and careen into depths
You are uninterested in the way the world appears through my eyes
The compassion that spills forth as I read and share
In the hopes and despairs of those around me.

You look at me and you see
You see my eyes
My smile
My hair
My form.

But you don’t see.
You can’t see.
You won’t see.
You don’t see me.