Recuerdo

I am tired of my own face.

I cannot avoid mirrors.

Once I was younger; I have never been this old before.

How can I ever find myself, lost so long ago, now bathing in memories I have never had? What made me think I could live alone so long & never be lonely? I can check my closets & my drawers & never find who I am. I can see how I held love at arm’s length. I can feel the bubbling truth of of days & nights with no one nearby.

I may have made a good nun if I could have convinced myself God was enough. I could have been someone’s truth, a shout instead of a whisper. I could have closed my eyes in someone’s arms & rested. But I didn’t quite get it right this life. Not that I regret a word of it, but it might have been so much larger.

I can feel the love spilling out of my heart, I can see the flowers I grew. I could have built cathedrals instead of this beautiful, empty chapel on a hill, open to the wind blowing out candles. I listen to the bells that never rang for me. I re-live the moments I was loved, but these are faint now & lack color.

All the love I had came out my hands as I worked on bodies. All the roads I walked led me here to this now. It would have been different, once. I could have walked forth as a woman who loved a man…instead of the mirrors showing me, they could have showed her.

Instead I have shared with strangers the touch meant for another & each massage I gave could have been an afternoon in bed stroking Love. We learn each day what is needed in its time. I was born for leaving yet if I had only stayed.

Shadows & whispers gather with the dusk. Another night, another book to read; a clock to watch. It might have been I would have recognized love had I known what I was looking for.

I have done well. If I enjoy where I am, am I lost really? If I choose to live with ghosts & memories, am I in lack? They do comfort me, insubstantial as they are. My lucky life lived from the outside in, late now to bear this fruit. I will watch this careful blooming watered with salt. I will keep the control I’m famous for, except until I can no longer do this.

I could say I don’t want this heart anymore. I want a transplant to a woman who still has life in her womb… or I can stand by these choices & simply go on.

Mother, lover, woman, wife. All the storms I never reaped the rainbows from condensed to my present. I see them in the corners where I have chased them. It was not my fault, why this guilt? I learned early not to love, that I was unworthy of it, that it would never find me if I only hid hard enough.

Tomorrow I will be stronger. Tomorrow the mirrors will know me better. I have not let go of the dream tho it may seem so. I will be watching for it all now & when it comes to me, I will never let it go.