Dancing with Risk
August 25, 2016 § 1 Comment
You are not safe to love
with your quiet wounds and thorn-defenses
sharp hooves and antlered crown, accustomed
to being hunted, sensitive
to being prey, and determined
to defend you and yours.
You are not safe to love
with your hidden grove and covered trails
your hunted heart that harmonizes
with one who grasped me hard enough to break
your clever reading of the herd
and the shadow of your crown is colored with
the stain of dried heartsblood –
and I am shy of risk.
My heart still recovers from the infection She left;
the scar still runs raw and seeping in my chest.
You are many things I have said “never never” to –
your private ways, your dried-blood crown,
the fear-sweat of defensive prey-beast I smell when you feel threatened,
the physical distance, the generation gap,
this oh-so-quick closeness between our hearts.
I am not safe to love, either
clinical caution and cold analysis
peering under every crack and crevice I can find
prying beneath your armor
challenging, questioning, testing
to try to learn the dangers before I go too deep
before I get too attached (oh, too late, too late)
my chance-shy mind seeking some kind of control
constriction instead of trust, so rigidly wary
–and I am wounded too
a skittish hunting-bird, pupils pinning with stress
and a serpent lives within my breast, dry-scaled and hungry-eyed
its fangs rust-red with old dried heartsblood
(not unlike that upon your antlers, and so you see
we share the same color of a shadow
though they take different shapes)
You do not push and pry at my defenses,
only share of yourself and wait for me to respond.
You ask for trust, as you stand there with open heart and open hand.
You ask me to gamble, to jump per chance to fall
(or fly, and it’s true that I have wings
and sometimes they even work)
–to choose trust, as you do with such fervent intensity
and joyous passion, despite betrayals and
all those old wounds in your unguarded spirit
and I am awed, I am humbled, I am set aflame.
We are not safe to love
with this gulf of land between us
connected by signals bounced between stars
by glowing mirrors sharing words and faces
the moon changing phases so many times
before we can touch.
Yet we do, love–
and I remember the last time I leapt into this level of uncertainty
this kind of deep passion and this whirling dance
long ago, and oh, the rewards of that are with me still
in the growth-rings of my spirit
in the warming of my heart–
It was worth it then, and I suspect
(thrilling, fearing, smiling)
that it is worth it now,
that you are worth this risk,
that We are worth this leaping into falling,