(Originally published in Montage, Emmanuel College, 2015)


the noise of silence
and the closeness
of distance
remind me of how
painful love really is.
wanting and wishing
while doubting and waiting,
we question our worth and our value.
i know i do.
and i doubt i’m alone
in the endeavor of aloneness
in the middle of a crowdsometimes
and sadness
inside the mask of so
happy and so glad and
so sure.

walking with numb feet.
dancing to no music.
waiting for a hidden kiss.

and waiting more for more and more and more.
or something else.
anything else.

am i wanted? loved?
important? of value?
i’ve been told so.
sometimes i think so.
but other times,
like now,
the noisy silence
of aloneness
shouts a sound of nothing
at all.

far away can be
as close as possible.
silence can contain
a volume of fear.
a smile can be only a
mask to cover the wounds
from that love so painful.
so powerful, so pleasurable, so promising,
and, yes,
so throbbing.

but what if it’s worth it?
that love,
what if it’s worth the contraptions that seem so unlike love?
what if the sadness of
a death, a departure, a defeat
is actually ok,
somehow in the
larger craft of life?
in the tension of noble and excruciating,
delightful and miserable,
what if that pressure, that tension,
can in some way
lead to a deeper healing?

staring at the mirror, i notice hurt.
standing beside a friend, i observe wounds.
glaring toward the many, i detect internal injuries.
listening to a morning’s melody of hurry, i discern angst.

those convoluted, throbbing, bleeding hurts
hurt deeply,
even when hidden by coverings of religious smiles
and impressive performances,
veiled by tedious chores
and scholarly debates,
disguised by busy days and busy lives,
of life
and death
and nothing, really.
just covered, in denial of reality

the camouflaged lives aren’t really life
until that time of something,
some thing,
some change,
some choice,
some shift,
some confession,
some shaking into reality
of releasing decades of sorrow.

like a confession toward a lover who actually hears all
and still loves in the end.
like a prayer toward a listener who risks all
to bring restoration.
like silence with a companion who is okay
with no words and no smile and no thrill and no high.

time by the river, listening to the movement.
time at the ocean, feeling the waves changing shifts so suddenly.
time on the mountain, as near to the top as possible and seeming
so distant from any highest peak.
time alone and being okay with that; enjoying, not escaping.
time with a crowd and being healthy with that; experiencing, not comparing.
time of nothing
at all

no longer a fugitive, now a person.
no longer a victim, now a champion.
no longer a performer, now an artist
slowing designing
while being designed
in this sometimes joyful,
sometimes crazy
adventure of life.

maybe not a david defeating a goliath,
but david the poet, singing to a hidden dad.

maybe not walking on the water
or calming a storm,
but napping in the boat, uncontrolled
by any tempest anymore.

i guess,
that is best.
a nap, unhurried,
while being healed.