Where are you tonight?
Did your heart wrench a little after the decision to go forward?
I wasn’t really making it. Trying hard not to move to the left or the right of this thin, straight line. I wasn’t intending for regret to come crashing down, after one decision or another. We just reach out, blind and helpless children at the sight of the other’s emotions.
When last you left me sinking…
there are e’s I would fix of my own. E’s of interpretation, decision making processes, a moment of foul weakness, other moments of stupid grace.
I am helpless next to the girl in the next room, who is crying over the shape of a letter. I’m afraid I made her like this, to cry this way. Carelessly, a haphazard accident, a scream that shouldn’t have mattered with the sum total of human agony and human waste.
Why this one? I cared so much.
I wonder at it. If I could be impartial, I could probably be nearer to the ones I love. If I didn’t love them, maybe I’d be better at it, treat them all better.
Isn’t that how it goes?
Tonight you are a voice moving against my memory. I share your remorse for things said and unsaid, for the improbability of it all doing any good. For what you didn’t say to me, and why.
And there’s a secret, dark joy there for the fact that your voice broke over my ears the morning after. A fierce, dark hope in your deliverance back to me. An inability to untangle from the failure and the love that are making us another knot in the dim tide of human suffering.
I love you-
with no clear personal discernment of what it means to love. It seems to mean waking in the night when my daughter’s tears have subsided, knotted over what’s been and what may be for her. Unsure of my personal responsibility, unwilling to claim any stake in her joys or accomplishments, but sure, flush full of the belief that any unhappiness coming must be laid in my hands.
It makes you afraid of the future.
Cry. Make an offering, shed a million tears that soak into the pillow. Pray to do some good for her from here, from a safe distance.
From a safe distance I wonder where you are tonight. If you’re sorry, and what you’re sorry for. I can’t help thinking you’re sorry you stayed; fearful of the damage left for doing by that choice.