Polarities

I often
find that with
gratitude 
I experience the
overwhelming belief 
that I am 

undeserving 

and the two 
can seem
contradictory

opposite ends  

both feel
reasonable
and 
irrational
at once

They say things change

I suppose it's true
that
connections and 
friendships 
wax and wane

that
falling in love
and career pursuits
take energy
and 
priority

Still I wonder
or maybe regret.

the
appraisal of life's
needs and 
obligations 
and my own wants 

it's the balance
I have not yet learned

Appetizer

"Can we table this conversation?"

He asks.

Two glasses of red wine
rest between us.
He plays with the stem
with his stable hand.

I do not respond.

I know he cannot
answer what
I want answered.

I look at him,
overcome with
a sorrow
that the blue of his eyes
does not calm.

"This is the first serious
relationship
I've experienced."

He continues,

"I do not want
my life to feel
settled yet."

As I watch his
lips move
I hear
a different narrative
an unsaid message.

He takes a bite
of the appetizer
in front of us.

It's come before
we've ordered
the main course.

I watch as he
enjoys its taste.
He takes another bite.

"What should we order next?"

He asks, excitedly.

Next?

I want to ask.

Isn't this enough?

Explore

"I want to explore the world,
with you,"

He says, imploring.

"I want to explore this city,
together."

He smiles.

I look at him
at his crystal,
calculating eyes.

"My love,"

I want to say.

"There's only one thing
I want to explore
."

Instead I laugh
placing my arms
around his shoulders.

We stay like this
as he rocks side to side
breathing in my hair.

He heads into the bedroom
signaling the end of
the conversation.

"You,"
I whisper
as he disappears
around the corner.

More time

“I need more time,”

he says,
earnestly.

I need more, too,
I want to respond.

I need more time
with you
knowing it will not
be something
fleeting
or fallible.

“I’m content
and happy,”

he reasons.

I am too,
I want to say.

I am so happy
that I’m unsure
if I can ever be as joyful
if you were not here
to share in it.

"More time,"

we both request

with different reasons
for wanting the same thing.

Request

You, sitting there
in my room
full of fleeting
Autumn sunlight

I wanted nothing more
than permanence.

“How about we
spend the day
just laying here
looking at each other?”

You laughed
as if my question
was comical

As if it was
possible
for me to want
anything
beyond life
in your eyes.

Meditate

The doctor
asks me
if I meditate.

He tells me
it may help
alleviate
my anxiety
my (often) self-made
turmoil.

I smile.

“Sure,”

I say.

I meditate
in the mornings
when his
hand reaches
under
the covers
for my own.

I meditate
under the rays
of the rising sun
as I
listen to his sounds
of sleep.

I meditate
in the smell
of his skin
on the constellation
of his sun spots
in the wrinkles
around his mouth
as he smiles.

"Yes,"

I continue.

"I meditate every day."

I meditate
to my heart’s song
and the rhythm
it shares with his.

meanings

I see meaning 
in the lovely
ways you
exist and
engage
in the world.

It's
in the way you
reminisce
about our first kiss
and the ramen noodle date
and the flirting that
grew to a
connection that
longed
for love.

It's
in the way you
sleep
on your stomach
one hand left open
for my own.

It's
your loving
touches
under the table
while we’re out
with our friends.

You called me
robust.
You called me
strong.

It's
the way you
don’t make fun
you do not dismiss
you support
and you encourage.

“I never want to let you go.”

I hope your words
mean as much to you
as they do
me.

I hope these loving
ways
mean what I
long for them
to mean.