It’s still a man’s world
a world where most of the earth
would stone two women in love
and those women who break the glass ceiling are often
unrecognizable as women
for they eat
with their bean soup
the dry wafer of other females
If I tell you
I am not prideful
it is the quiet and the book
an occasion of solitude
interspersed with longing
I’ll never be a loud mouthed girl to hang your spurs upon
but still I know how to talk to the moon
and I believe in you
At night
poorly lit by lamps
like yellow faces downcast
we walk vigorously
hand folded in hand
and that simple act
I cherish
above any gift or benediction
When we are apart
monsters live under my bed
shadows rinse in continuing pass
the joy of breaking bread
as bloodied
the unseen art of war
within gentle hearts
causes my pulse to spike
and in time succumb
to hypochondria
For it is you
who taught me first
this is how you wade in shallow water
not listening to the buzz of insects
searching for a way in
and this is how you swim in deep water
not minding the curdled heat reflecting in
masks off the surface of thought
you can if you really want
stand solid against the onslaught of fear
crawling beneath your skin as the sun
grinds us down into withered and parched semblance
you can if you really want
defy time and tendency and take a deep breath
learning to stretch far in the distance
without air
When I wake
and the thunder of your absence
breaks my resolve
when the smell of you is fading
in the comb of your absence
I hear your voice skimming water
like touchstones seeking entry
one by one you build your fortress
installing me against the ravage
that pit I carried every year
before you walked into my life and said
fear cannot win as long as you believe in love