I wear inverse bell-curve-shaped glasses.
about the people I see before me.
Just shy of neutral, I gaze out and,
if at all, judge others vaguely,
with quarter-hearted indifference.
My caring for them, though,
goes far deeper. The other seventy-five percent.
But for myself,
I save the strongest scrutiny.
I hate, and love, and see me
with hawk-like intensity.
I pierce my flesh with talons and daggers,
shooting out from a critical eye.
Too old. Too young.
Too slow. Too sharp.
Too reserved. Too loud.
Too simple. Too eccentric.
Too rigid. Too compromising.
I notice my every flaw,
stare until I crumble under my own gaze,
until I am consumed by the blazing fires of shame.
Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.
But- I defend myself
with the same impassioned intensity.
I am a fire sign.
This MUST be family loyalty.
With every mistake, I see it’s context.
I’m aware that I’m willing, and well-intentioned.
Who cares if that’s the road to hell?
If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
This is a love affair
with the most consistently present person in my life.
We are inseparable.
So I have learned to feel affection for my imperfect self.
To defend her, stand by her.
No matter if she’s wrong. No matter the cost.
A dedication to myself that knows no bounds.
Love unto madness.
The two are easily mistaken,
and with good reason.
Does love not contain an element of madness?
A perfect dedication to the imperfect?
A willingness to go down with the ship?
You can’t love another until you truly love yourself.
I want to be able to offer this love.
So when I feel myself sinking,
I set my heart to
dragging out all that extra baggage
from the dark recesses within,
and use all my strength to heave it overboard.
If I must go down, it won’t be without a fight.
And sometimes, surprisingly,
the storm subsides.
Love saves the day.
With a lightened load, its smooth sailing for a while.
But only for a while.
We were put here to struggle,
for without struggle, there is no progress, and
we feel most alive when we are growing.
Like a vine, we extend, go out on a limb.
We slowly reach out, and wrap ourselves around others.
It is up to us,
the choice to choke them
or offer instead a life-giving embrace.
Love is like water.
Misused, it will drown us,
but it is meant to nourish,
and keep us afloat as we weather each storm.
Where the fire of my personality
and the water of love meet,
there is steam. A vapor, rising.
Beads of moisture forming on all it touches.
I will not fret over frizzy hair or foggy glasses.
I will not worry that my poetry is filled with
cheesy clichés and tacky platitudes.
Let us embrace our contradictions and imperfections,
and together, let us learn to laugh,
and to dance in the rain.
and to dance in the rain.