Take Two Drawers

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Take two drawers,
And the top shelf too,
Some things are worth fighting over,
But my space belongs to you.

Put your shoes where you please,
Neatly beside mine or out of place,
The prints that matter are on my heart,
And (the ones your lips leave) on my face.

This air I breathe I share with you,
An uncommon honour I don’t deserve.
If you weren’t here, there’d be half of me,
Missing the part I’d die to preserve.

Take the drawers, you can have them all,
Even the closets, racks and window ledges.
Welcome home, this is where you belong,
Surround me, be curves to my rough edges.

See Finish: How Familiarity Kills Lovely Things

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If you forget that I’m a miracle, how will I excite? And if you become ordinary in my eyes, how will you delight?

By nature, a relationship demands (some kind of) exposure to be. It requires a baring of souls and lives for the ones involved to learn about each other, grow into each other and become comfortable.

But with exposure comes familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt.

Or complacency, that unfortunate dust that settles on things left to settle; like a house kept shut and without the benefit of sunlight for so long that the treasures within begin to tarnish.

We become fixtures in each other’s lives and then we begin to forget:

1. The thrill of exploring a whole new world living and breathing in another person.

2. How we went from uncertainty to certainty about this person, and the joy that came with that knowing.

3. The simple pleasures of holding hands, wordless conversations, eating together and seeing each other after a long day apart.

4. The love of God expressed in Him, by His grace, giving us a co-burden bearer and a partner to face down life with.

5. Presence, that all-important thing that transcends being physically present.

Our phones begin to find their way out of our pockets when there are lulls in conversations, nimble fingers flying across screens as we swipe and tap our significant other into irrelevance.

“Sorry, what were you saying?”

Then they start living on the table, close enough to start a war.

They glow and beep and vibrate in plain sight, as if reminding us with a cold smugness that no human is truly indispensable, while precious things recede into the background.

The things created to bring us closer start us on paths that lead us apart.

Life away from this life we’re supposed to be building and enjoying together slowly becomes more urgent and notifications from strangers make the heart beat faster than the loving gaze of the people who know us well.

We arrive at see finish and the road is all downhill from there.

Affection will rust and lovely things will decay unless we stop:

1. Acting like we can swap people with things, or even people with other people, whenever we please.

2. Undervaluing moments just because we’ve had ‘too many’ of them.

3. Settling into the ‘old married couple’ life after two weeks of dating. We don’t know each other that well yet.

4. Needing our phones more than we need each other.

5. Treating one another like stopgaps while we eagerly await the big thing.

6. Leaving our patch of grass to die while we stare longingly at the seemingly greener patch on the other side of the fence. Grab that watering can.

7. Forgetting to bear in mind how precious God’s human gifts are, and refusing to thank the Giver by treating them with high regard.

It’s not too late to pay attention.

In Transit

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I met you at a bus stop, so forgive me if I only love you at junctions in my life.

I’m still in transit.

Maybe I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m not going nowhere.

I cannot settle, because that would be suicide, and I have too much living to do to take my own life or have it taken from me by a cause undeserving of the glory of my passing.

Yes, I am learning to be selfish, but only with the right things and the right people. I am learning to clutch, open hands are overrated:

The familiar homeless man with hands held up in the corner of the street had nothing when I walked past him this morning, and he will have nothing when I walk past him in the evening. Two exposed palms, one hope for dreams to come true, but nothing ever happens. I cannot live this way.

I’d rather die than live in an earthly hell, but Heaven isn’t ready for me yet. So I make my own heaven, every day, I build it from the things I clutch: the people, the places, the memories of them.

The memories. I keep making new ones. Some are more precious than others, no doubt, but no one is meaningless.

I am made of memories.

And you’re a memory, as much a part of me as the next event which will come, linger and then pass. Like most things. I will leave you behind, and you me, but the essence of what we once meant to each other will remain, our exchange imprinted upon us like the scents strangers leave on other strangers they seat next to on a public bus. Or brush past in a doorway. Scents, often imperceptible to the ones who wear them, but there nonetheless.

I will love you at junctions in my life. Or this memory of you I will never let go of. I will love you when I remember to breathe, a momentary inhalation that is as much a rest as any I’d ever get. I’m still in transit.

Poetry: The Empty Chest Cavity

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Running out on you, running out on us,
Hard to believe what it’s like to be without a heart.
But what gives, love or lesser things (aren’t they all?)?
The beginning of isolation is often warm and fuzzy.

I didn’t hurt you, at least that’s what I’ve been saying,
To myself, my self and those who care to listen.
But I don’t feel whole: something that beats is missing,
I’m the one hurting, instead of you, the one beaten.

Who will I call? No one really picks up these days.
No words, silence screamed at me in a million other ways.
There’s nothing on the other end, a lot in-between,
Darkness, and the fear of a spirit standing in its own ruins.

Wait while I learn to breathe again. No, too much pain,
I’ve been drowning in stale air, my lungs don’t belong.
A shadow shadows my shadow at night, trolling me,
It’s regret, that haunting by the things that won’t be.

Poetry: Karo’s ‘Your Kisses Burn’

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Your kisses burn,

Your lips so soft they melt mine.

If I could wake up, I won’t.

You intoxicate me,

I can’t get enough.

If I had a day more,

It would be spent with you.

 

You light me up then burn me down,

No blood left in me,

I’m lifeless,

Pale and white,

Yet I crave more of you.

 

I see you leave,

I know you won’t return,

But if I had a second chance,

I’d die again for you.

I’ll let you kill me yet again,

Bury me in you.

 

You are deleterious to me,

I don’t care.

Let me burn,

Let me go away,

With you, for you.

 

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Poetry: How Perfect Feels

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You are a dream I can’t remember,
Hanging on the fringes of my memory.
You are the month after December,
Thirty days of grace before January.

You are a star in constant motion,
Here this minute and gone the next.
You are an idea or a notion,
And I can’t read you like a text.

You are a wish for something more,
An expectation for tomorrow.
You’re like Band-Aid on a sore,
You cover up the sorrow.

You are the last matchstick it the box,
Without you there’ll be no flames.
You are a clean pair of white socks,
You keep me from being ashamed.

You are a minute before sunset,
Gone in sixty seconds.
You are a beautiful prospect,
A bright future that beckons.

Alternative Essays: Adrift

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Ocean of emotions, I find you deep, in more ways than one. I am adrift, lost in this tremendousness, driven by your currents into territories uncharted. I feel a stranger, then I am home; unrecognized, then altogether familiar. Hugged into comfort, then shaken up by a wave; pitching and rolling, sails are useless.

I love the glass-smooth blue, but then there’s the grey, dark skies reflected in choppy waters. If it’ll rain let it, damn the thunder and lightning. I shan’t speak as a coward, but all this is quite frightening. “Abandon ship, abandon ship,” my head whispers to my heart. I’d cut my losses and run, but I can’t walk across the sea.

I’m delirious, these tropical beaches dotted with coconut palms are mirages: proofs of my unwellness. Fetch me a drink, hail me a passing yacht. Dream on, dream on, dreamer. The sun is large overhead, a ball of judgmental fire blazing with unrighteous fury. Another manifestation of you? Probably so, probably not.

I’m awake and moving again. How? I don’t know. I, castaway. You, moody lover. “Smooth sailing,” the steady winds seem to say. (But I am no more a sailor now than Robinson Crusoe was upon his island home.) Aye, captain, aye. I hear you. I’m the first mate again, reinstated to a place of honour.

Heaven or Life With You In It

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365 days, lived a second at a time,

The moments pass, without an end.

A hundred ways, a thousand crimes,

A million positions we can’t defend.

 

We fall, always alone, never together,

You rise, inch by inch, by yourself.

Perhaps not, maybe you can do better,

If you lived by the clock on your shelf.

 

But there’s no schedule for mistakes,

No clairvoyance allowed, no warnings.

Life unravels once, no second takes,

The candle cannot reverse its burning.

 

So what if I didn’t have you here,

Would I not be miserable and broken?

Would my life not be measured in tears,

And all those comforts left unspoken?