in the bleak greyness of morning, i absently stir my coffee,
then, curious, search the reflection in my spoon for something familiar.
but the face looking back is someone i’ve never met.
the eyes are still brown, yet with no trace of laughter, of fire, of mischief.
these eyes are darker, duller, downcast, waiting for the next blow.
undressing for the shower, my flesh sloughs and falls away like snake-skin
revealing a creature too raw, too vulnerable for the world to receive.
my essence escapes in wet footprints left behind on the marble—
evaporating, disappearing, slipping the bounds of this place,
perhaps to find sanctuary in a more welcoming home.
eighteen months since i’ve been myself
eighteen months since i was flayed and laid open
eighteen months since i’ve lived
in the fullness of afternoon i contemplate my existence;
ruminating, waiting for the reward of some clarity.
patience is a virtue i’ve only begun to appreciate:
conceived in controversy, born of necessity, quietly insisting
that i still my mind, slow my heart, and listen—just listen.
as usual, i make do with uncertainty and confusion;
no rock-solid foundation on which to make my stand,
no sweeping manifesto revealed by thunderclaps and parting clouds—
in the stillness of night i imagine that, buried deep inside me,
protected by the moist warmth of my resting body,
is a tiny seed struggling, struggling mightily to germinate.
within its hard coat hides the genetic code of my future self;
the me i have yet to become, the me i was meant to be
fifty-one years since my eyes saw the sun;
thirty years since true love called me home;
twenty-four years since this body first produced a miracle;
eighteen months since the storms came and laid my landscape low;
one tiny seed that will find light in the devastation and become an orchard.