she never completes her sentences.
never knits your heart entirely or
gets all the bits of glass out.
never ties up loose ends
or says what she means.
she does not.
still you prayed every morning:
“Find me,” you said
“Wait for me,” you whispered.
until one morning,
with the sun behind swirling ochre clouds,
you woke to find her words dangling
before you on spider threads;
with languid voices -
not truth, but not lies either –
“beyond all doubt,
all those phone calls that ended in a click,
when phones still did, meant something.”
“or when you were a child, in the middle of the night,
a light clicking on under your bedroom door.
a bright flare in the darkness of your parents’
war of attrition.”
“then, much later of course, the anxiety of hell.
the deep darkness that drove you and drove you
and drove you until the doctor gave in
and saved you -
against your will.”
“even the sideways glance,
that brimmed with kindness,
from the stranger next to you
waiting to cross the avenue in the rain.”
“the prayer you wrote during last Sunday’s service,
which could barely be read aloud,
because you barely knew what to write.”
“dancing across broken sunlight with your lover.”
“the rumor you heard from someone you never (ever) trusted
that turned out to be true.”
“the stranger you would see in front of the salvation army,
weeping, in the mornings.”
“the key you found walking lonely in
the seven-eleven at midnight.
the church at dawn. all the streets in between.”
“the key you hid in the junk drawer -
“the woman you saw day after day at the diner.
an overheard conversation:
“i’ve looked everywhere for you.” the stranger said.
To which, reaching across the table to touch his hand,
she replied simply, “I’ve always been here.”
“the flickering streetlight,
explaining the dream to you.
the one you keep having over and over.
over water. all that water.”
“the cackle of lightening.
your face pressed against the window pane
watching the birds wheel in the gale,
dodging the words crashing down.”
“a footnote you remember to a story you
no longer recall. all the awkward
pauses of your life.
“all the forgotten truths.
the remembered lies.”
“the unraveling of wordless prayers; the ones
you traced over and over on bars until last call
ended your supplications.”
“but then, in time,
a sense of a slow knitting back of things torn.”
“in time, not visions but places. not hope but people.
not gods but angels.
in time, not one but not two either.”
“until one day,
one day you are surprised
to find yourself holding that key.
to find yourself standing, again, in front of a
quite locked door.”
“but this time, this time the key holds sway,
the door retreats from your sharp thrust.
this time you stumble over its threshold,
this time you fall into Her strong arms, sobbing.
this time, at long last,
you are home.”