She comes alive with me. I know you ironic gods
must love that.
Autumn’s natural grace, dramatic exuberance, sparkle
and charm are secrets she can expose in our safe chamber.
In public, the streets, the school rooms, buses, markets,
she hides. It takes conscious effort to close in, slump,
avoid eye contact, appear both wary and aloof.
Then it becomes habit, like appropriate attire.
Here she is the vibrant child escaped, free of
expectations of lustful predation. I am her shadow
sibling, uncomplicated confidante. She is my
amazing, unexpected gift from the living world.
She crafts us glorious gypsy dancewear, sings sly
lyrics on strong rhythm for our dancing pleasure.
I forget for hours, believe a fantasy of child’s joy.
Can it matter that she does this for me, creates magic
that enchants a creature who can not, ought not exist?
Is it enough for her to have secret respite? Does this
sanctuary supply ample resuscitation to help her stay
alive? There is no normality here to bind. We occupy
a temporary world of our own making.
“Why can’t they just let me be? All those leering eyes,
lewd mouths, stupid meanness, why? Just because they can?
Why am I, is anyone, fair game just for existing where we
can be seen, spit at, told ‘Missy, this is your place at the bottom
of our power base ‘cause we say so.’ All these assholes think
it’s their right and obligation to lay down the shit and enjoy
the squirming. Why don’t I think that? Why don’t I get to be
the terrorizing presence? Why do I get to pretend I don’t mind
unless I’m prepared to fight against unbalanced odds?”
She rants, but not for long. She shakes out sad indignation,
a brief release of tears.
Safely tucked away from such daily torment, she wisely flies
into fantasies so much more filling and thrilling than revenge.
We are wastrels from a marvelous storm, lost in a mysterious
alien wilderness. We avidly share discoveries, suppose answers
to shared wonderings, honestly engage.
They are hero stories and metaphors, these layered games we
spin to amuse. We each become more, better learn our own
desires, capabilities, through association. Are we more able to
devise who we want to be, ideally, when not confronted by
demands of accommodation? Does admiring adoration, call forth
unacknowledged courage, obscured strength? Does love make us
lovelier to our ever chattering inner critics?
I am feeling strangely lighter while more securely solid.
I feel more real, more alive, than ever in my very long memory.
Days have taken on a different hue, meaning that breathes,
I am aware of a feeling unlike pain.