a marriage: scene one (version two)

It is dusk.

Rapid rain drops forceful against glass, an angry wind, lightning followed by the thunder – startling in its force and depth.

From the outside looking in, a reflection of The Husband, standing tall, tense, erect.

He is staring, blankly, pass his reflection at the lights, skyscrapers, and rain. In the room, elegant and austere in its demeanor – only a faint light from a lamp to his right.

On his feet, tan burnished leather cap-toe shoes. On his body, a three piece impeccably tailored striped wool black suit. Hands in his pockets forcing his jacket open, reveals a vest framing a narrow waist; a navy-blue shirt is fitted perfectly to his broad chest and wide shoulders; a thick matching tie crafted in silk is expertly knotted around his neck, sitting just below a prominent Adam’s Apple. He wears initialed gold cuff links, an anniversary present from The Wife.

His face: serious,

Eyebrows scowling,

Jaw, tense.

Nostrils, flaring as he breathes slowly, deeply, deliberately.

Eyes, tender, sad, tangled in thought.

A loud sigh, then quickly and suddenly, his face falls into his chest.

Slowly, his hands slip out of his pockets and reach up to encapsulate his face.

His wedding band of silver and diamonds shimmers in the relative darkness.

“How did I get here?” he whispers. “How did we get here?”

A gentle knock on a door, luring him reluctantly to the present Moment.

“It’s me,” she whispers, her voice filled with joy and anticipation.

He looks up, turns his body as if by force, and fixes his gaze on the door, frozen.

Another knock, slightly louder than the first and a little less confident.

She hesitates; he deliberates.

A bit of a stalemate.

He finally gathers himself, walks to the door and – slowly – opens it.

Their eyes meet, their lips smile.

She exhales; he inhales.

Both relax just a bit.

He reaches for her hand and gently draws her in, closing the door.

As her eyes adjust, she takes in the space – a large, elegant living room occupied with two massive couches facing each other and separated by an intricate modern chandelier that hangs low from the high ceilings, a baby grand piano, coal black and glistening, is framed by a wall of windows, floor to ceiling bookcases, and art everywhere – paintings and sculptures – a distinctly masculine vibe emanates from both the room and her host.

She continues to study the room, beyond the couches, a bar comes into view as if an oasis. A sudden urge for drink, for calm and grounding.

He is studying her intently, standing still, by the door, hands in his pockets.

The only sounds in the room – rain against the windows, the occasional howl of the wind outside, abated breaths.

She begins to remove her coat (long, fitted, soft black leather). As if by cue, he is behind her, helping.

He takes her coat; she moves toward the bar.

Her attire: a shiny cobalt blue, two-piece silk tailored business suit – slim jacket paired with a pencil skirt that fell a few inches above her knees. On her feet, four-inch black pumps. No jewelry. Manicured hands, minimal makeup. Her dark black hair pulled back in a tight bun.

“What would you like to drink?” he asks, joining her at the bar.

She settles into plush stool, feeling its softness on her hands and the back of her thighs.

He is behind the bar, waiting and watching.

She looks fully into his eyes for the first time since arriving, searching…

“I’ll have what you have,” she says – never losing contact with his eyes.

They smile and blush. He breaks their gaze to pour their drinks.

Every move he makes, she notes and remembers why she is here, why she is taking such a risk for the first time in her life.

“He is worth it,” she thinks. Her heart softens, her smile broadens as she accepts his drink.

Their fingers touch and eyes soon follow suit.

Cheers!” she says.

Cheers!” he responds, himself beginning to relax, just a bit.

The potency and complexity of the cognac are a welcome to both.

Feeling somewhat fortified, he says: “I have never in twenty years, been unfaithful to my wife.” Another, fuller hit of the expensive spirit.

“I have never even considered a married man,” she responds, and quickly takes in a mouthful of the cognac, swallowing quickly, craving the subtle burning at the back of her throat.

Their eyes meet, anxious smiles on the surface, desire simmering underneath.

That desire propelled them here today, arising – subconsciously – from the moment they first met, three years ago when she arrived at his firm, adeptly lured away from a formidable competitor by his younger brother and partner.

She quickly became an invaluable asset, working long hours by his side – they, the first ones into the office, and always the last ones to leave.

Professional and respectful always, she had met his wife, and admired her a great deal – creative, smart, funny, and utterly fearless, she perceived His Wife.

He had met her longtime boyfriend and got along with him famously. So much so, there were many double dates. Fun, memorable evenings – hours filled with exquisite food, excellent wine, intense, endlessly flowing conversations, and so much laughter.

One day – exactly a year ago – it all changed. She felt it coming. Her boyfriend decided to leave, citing the need for a more traditional relationship, one where the woman did not willingly work twice as many hours as her man and earned substantially more.

Tethered to no one and now a vested partner in The Husband’s firm, she worked harder, giving her all to work she adored and found profoundly meaningful.

He, too, invested more of himself to work. They would often share late dinners and early morning breakfasts.

Professionalism and respect continued between them, although it was becoming more and more challenging – she grew closer to The Husband, becoming a confidant as he pulled farther away from The Wife, his first love going back to University, and the mother of his children – twin boys now in college.

One late night – just last week – as they prepared to leave the office building to their respective homes, there was a passionate, lingering kiss as if long destined, a wave they could not contain.

No words were spoken nor plans made aloud.

There was an impending and important business trip that had been diligently planned six months earlier.

And here they are now, at the bar inside a dimly lit hotel suite, silently taking each other in. Outside, a cacophony of sound and sight: rain, wind, lightning, and thunder.

Iron

I will not carry your Iron,
I will no longer bear your Burdens,
I shall not strive to Redeem you,
I will only Thank you,
for being the vehicle of this birth,
the channel through which this River flowed
into illusion, destined to forget
and then
to remember.
I was to spread these Wings
perhaps wider than was allotted to you,
parents, who did what was your story to do,
to “love” as you were “loved”.
Alas, ancestral trauma,
we drag it from
generation to generation
iteration to iteration
until it dissipates,
withers,
is transformed
back into the Love
from which it
ultimately
came.
All trauma is golden
at its core –
was crafted in service
and protection.
Without it –
likely no ancestry,
no bloodlines,
no opportunity to
re-member;
no journey to take
back to where it all began…
I will not carry your Iron,
I will play
my Role
in melting it.

Inspired by and indebted to Mary Oliver’s stunning poem, Flare
“my mother, alas, alas,
did not always love her life,
heavier than iron it was
as she carried it in her arms, from room to room,”


powerful people

who are they?
why are they?
what are they?

we look Up
and admire them,
envy and revile them.

fundamentally human
like the rest of us –
ordinary people
with too much extra –
a “gift” and a “curse”
to hold such a place
on our spaceship Earth.

need it always be so-
a few “high”
so many made relatively “low”?
perhaps a little more equity
on the way to generous equality
spurred by empathy,
our shared humanity,
and true understanding
of this current road’s danger
and lack of sustainability.

FORCED BIRTH

Nooooooo!
Please!
not ready to come out
just yet
need a little more time
to ground
to reorient
to a new reality
one where
I sense
the warmth
quiet
and steady  
thump thump
thump thump
will be absent
need more fortification
in preparation
for this next phase
in my embodiment journey
alas, time is quickly running out-
new chemicals in her
no movement
yet all of a sudden
bright, unwelcomed light,
unfamiliar voices
drainage of the fluid that once
nurtured and fed
tiny fingers cling
try to hold on
battle lost,
civil war begins
between what is
and what was supposed to be
eventually
too many causalities
a tipping point is reached –
it is now time
to make lasting peace.

prayers to you

what’s it all about,
you coming into
this scared space
spewing your hate?
why not go outside
to the streets
into the Light –
strong and proud
expressing as you perceive:
that only white lives matter
all people of color
have “it” coming
that their lives mean nothing.
prayers to you,
for you truly know not
what it is you do.
you have forgotten
what You really are;
alas, you can see but so far-
only to the level of the skin
so utterly limited you are,
tightly constricted
unseen, likely never really heard,
lonely in your Little Box
amidst your tribe
of hardened have nots.
from such profound lack,
you shame and blame
easily kill and maim,
desperately looking outside
for what does not exist within.
no present capacity to self-reflect
nor the tools to adequately take stock
and practice personal responsibility.
fervent prayers for the lost pieces of you-
may you soon re-member and awaken.

 

I can’t breathe!

“I can’t breathe!!”

we, people the color of night’s sky, have been saying –
pleading-
for centuries.
What part of this do you not understand?
Are you not human
like me –
flesh
bone
blood?
A parent like me –
mother
sister
father
brother
like me?!
Look into my eyes
deep into The Soul
as I gaze into
The Essence of you.
Hear me:
I can’t breathe.
Tell me:
How does it feel
to have your knee
pinned to my back-
digging deep,
crushing with intention.
How does it serve you
to tie your noose
around my neck
stifling my breath
as I sway
gently
from the poplar tree?
Look into my eyes –
see what I see
so very clearly:
whatsoever you do
unto me,
you too
shall reap.
We
can’t
breathe.

Sacred Moment

this strange,
sudden
lonely
traumatic
seclusion.
A particularly fierce form of Grace.
All a bit of a blur-
so much has taken place
as revealed by this now wizened face.
Innocence gained and lost
as we endeavor to make the most
of what is truly a Sacred Moment
a pause, a break, space
for resurrection and metamorphosis.
Who will come of this?
Already feeling familiar pieces
falling away – cannot retrieve them
for there is no going back-
only surrender –
a radical submission,
to humility and a facile generosity
born from the remembrance
of our connectedness
and shared ancestry.

RED

Mixed emotions,
my relationship with Red
the color of
sensuality and menstruation-
of sin and punishment-
as I was taught.
Red did not hide-
neither docile nor shy.
Red, to me,
embodied extroversion-
loud and insufferable!
Beginning,
in the latter chapter of life,
to warm to Red some-
to appreciate her contours
and taste her complexity.
She’s beckoning me, Red
an invitation to finally
stand
firmly
in my Power.
It’s always been there,”
Red says.

Mask

Alas,
how is this suppose to work
now and going forward?
Vulnerability,
the removal of our masks –
invisible and heavy-
had just become
more comfortable
for so many.
Now,
suddenly,
the mask-
sterile and tangible-
has become
mandatory.
A rare treat
to see a naked face
walking down a street.
We’ve become aliens
out of necessity,
orbiting around each other,
getting no closer
to the “stranger”
that six feet.

Tears and Touch

Tears
for lack of Touch;
Touch
then dissolution to Tears.
So fundamental,
touch;
essential
to our development,
to our humanity.
dissolves protective walls,
loving touch,
transforms fears,
awakens and untethers
The Soul.
Akin to breath,
the gift of touch,
a vital nutrient,
a universal must.
So, how to navigate
this time of
distrust
of all touch?