The Things I Wish I Could Forget
The slime of the ruined jalapeño in my hand, dripping a kind of snot, cold, feeling like a dead animal between my fingers.
My jeans, insisting, aggressive against my belly today.
But these are cure, right? Domestic. I could go on: the taste in my mouth, the anger in my swollen belly for all the men in my life who have worked too hard, too long, the men who have killed themselves with work (See: Father crawling up the stairs, overridden with cancer, his final day of work, 2 months before his final day on earth); the fear in my swollen belly as I bellied up to the phone and stood up to a bully, a grown-ass woman at work who tried to humiliate one of my employees.
Oh, but there's more: I want to forget but likely must remember the cruelties my still-alive brother rained on me, as a bully, an abuser, verbal and physically; I love him and I don't wish to betray him with my words, understand? I wish to be gentle with him, because I believe he needs gentling more than I do. Life has been kinder to me, hasn't it? Why would I pile on?
And yet.... The goal, in this second half of my life, is to extend this gentling to myself, to boomerang it so that I can do peace work in this world, so I can extend compassion and walk my talk.
I'm not sure you can understand all this without context. Just know that I am weary and wary, that I seek to write my way to wholeness, that this is a long and rutted road, but I'm traveling it each day on my hands, on my fingertips, grasping pens, striking keyboards.
Thanks be to language, the language that was, the language that is, the language that will be. Loosen my tongue, untie it here and now, make me unafraid, or, short of that, make me liquid and unbound.
This is my prayer. This, and: forsythia, thank you for your yellow haze, your scrim, over the brook, between the houses. You are tender, you are loved, you and the crocus, more than all the others, because you come first, when our eyes are starved for bright blotches of color, the blooms, starring the branches.