Our Future Selves

A year from today, 
we’ll break up 
into the current of another lover’s love,
their stream of thoughts  
we probably aren’t worthy of,
the construct of which 
will leave us itching 
at our stitches of disunity.

Searching for impunity 
in his hugs,
her kisses,
his gentle tugs,
her patient spirit.

He won’t understand you, 
she’ll grow indifferent to me;
he’ll remain faithful to you, 
and she will discover 
why I’m her favorite dose of love 
yet the worst type of lover.

You’ll see my smile 
fade in his laughter, 
I’ll witness your tears
fall onto the pages of her chapter.

A year from then
we’ll still be guilty of stealing 
enough of each other’s lives;
our partners 
will question our suspicions.

The honesty in his motives 
will not get you to confess, 
her imploring 
will feel like a needle 
for a spinal tap, 
my response 
will be paralytic silence.

They’ll both tell us, 
we’re perfect for each other. 
He’ll be rocking 
a version of my stubbornness 
over his shoulder, 
she’ll be tucking in 
your dimples in another room 
and after slumber sets 
in its infancy, 
they will both question:
“So, where do we go from here?”

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I Pray

I’ve been praying for you,
not like
the erratic inquiries
from ill prepared students
that float to AC ducts,
brewing inside of classrooms
preceding a
POP quiz,
rising like bargaining chips
wrapped in,
“Our Father,
which art in heaven,
I promise
to pass by the church
if you deliver me
from the valley
of these questions”
kind of prayers.

No, more like:
I can’t.
I won’t let you go
lest you bless me
with your presence
kind of prayers;
because until now
I’ve never been fixated
on the internal revenue
of a soul.
I figured,
everyone had a price
but you couldn’t be sold
by a “dashing smile,
a chiseled chest,
an obese wallet.”
No,
I was drawn
to your independent dependence
on your Source of strength.

Honestly,
I’ve prayed
not to make you perfect
for me,
but to make me sufficient
in being your needs
and efficient
to satiate your desires.
I want to be converted
to your wishlist,
ever changing
through the decades
though it may be,
so I’ll always check off
on your requirements,
no matter which lifetime
we find ourselves in.

I prayed,
for the wisdom
to listen
to your fears,
your insecurities,
your worries;
then prayed for the knowledge
of how to prepare my hands
to fix what they can,
and bridge over the impossibilities
with You.

I prayed,
for the courage
to stand up for you
when you can’t;
the spine
to stand beside you
as my equal;
but more importantly
to bend my knees
to lift you up
when I’ve done all I can;
to know the difference
between failure
and surrender,
and may I never
be composed of the former.

They told me:
“Don’t touch,
what you can’t buy.”
So when I ask for your hand
you’ll already know my intentions.
I’m thinking long-term,
something akin
to eternity.

I’m hoping
you’ll say yes.
I’m praying
that our future
is synonymous
to His will
but if not,
may I be granted grace
to love
and honor you from afar,
and to not wish ill will
upon your lover.

May he love you
deep into your marrow.
May he kiss you
as if atonement
was only found
on the altar of your lips.
May he hold you
as his lifeline,
as if letting go
was a fate far worse
than damnation.

May he cherish
the bad inside jokes you keep,
bookmarked
for his smile.

May he adore
the doors you’ve closed
to the attention
of other men,
to solely crave
his affection.

May he inspire you
to whisper with God
before exchanging
shouts with the world.

May he know
that you could’ve had better,

Yet she chose you
in the solitude
of her closet,
on the road home
with dense
and drenched traffic,
in prayer meetings,
in study halls,
in church pews
and bathroom stalls.

She chose you,
pleaded
with origami fingers folded,
upon calloused knees
as mine were for her but,
she chose you
to be an answer
to her prayers,
for a love
you probably bargained
with heaven
to receive but once.

Broken Home

We worked at the same place,
or at least
held the same position.
I clocked in a day late,
got lost in the transition,
of picking up our daughters
from softball and gymnastics.
Was it your turn or mine?
I know I promised I’d be on time
but perfection requires practice,
right?
Maybe it’s somethin’ about the schedule,
but I’m tired of making excuses.
*sighs*
We’re just
not as well oiled
compared to our yesteryears,
or maybe
Life’s wristwatch is set on the wrong day.
(Always did prefer the quartz over digital)

Perhaps,
fate’s train had for us,
different destinations.
Mine headed west to set,
yours headed east to rise
and I calculated
that at some noon,
some midnight
we would’ve met,
in a moment between blinked seconds.
But your eyes were
always closed,
back towards me,
head rested on a stranger’s shoulder,
always asleep.

My life raced passed
these solid slabs of antiquity,
raised in the promising suits of perfection,
yet made corruptible by every season.
Spring bombarded them
with photons of felicity,
but we ignored the dents it left behind then.
Summer reigned ‘neath sorrowful skies,
corroding the sharp edges,
but we were defiant to its rule,
did not heed its forecast.
Autumn engulfed them,
attempted to make them
one of itself as it proclaimed,
“Gloom shall befall you!”
But we should’ve listened to Winter,
as it clothed these edifices in purity,
encasing them in cold death,
we stood frozen in its grip,
bound in eternal,
crestfallen matrimony.

Still my nose pressed
against these subway windows,
with worthless hopes
cast into a wishing fountain
long ago;
and when these trains
finally did meet
or at least cross paths;
and for that millisecond
that our presence were in sync,
I grasped your hand,
held it.
Did not let go,
kept it
close to my soul,
embedded
so deep within that
your closed hand became my heart.
Fingers opened,
and closed.
Opened,
and closed.
Grabbing my love that is still
opened
and closed
for you,
to you…
As your fingers bleed times of softest touches,
caressing the deepest scars into wishes.
Wishing that I would’ve met you
lifetimes ago to avoid these scars,
or maybe wishing that you would
never become one upon my heart.

So I’m standing here
at your doorstep,
greeted with an air of oddity.
I’m out of place,
not like our tilted,
framed marriage photo in the living room
that left wondering visitors with sore necks;
not like the orange lilies
of yesterdays resting atop the toaster,
love forsaken despite being your favorites.
No.
I’m standing outside the door of a stranger.
Standing outside,
with a tray of honest promises
and a concrete mix of hope,
prepared to fix
what I’ve broken.
Outside the door,
of a marriage in need of saving,
a soul with forgotten cravings,
lonely roads in need of paving,
outside,
of a broken home.

Aspirations to Adhere

It’s 5:27 am
and this draft
wants nothing more
than to drag itself slowly
up
my
spine,
tap my shoulder
and whisper lies these
lost satin sheets
tell a little more subtly.
My hand
slides across the bed, blindly
in search of your skin
to splice with mine
only to find you
already gone.

The alarm
sets itself singing
to the tunes of nuisance
for the fourth time.
As the snooze in me drains
my adrenaline spikes;
the rush
is on.

By the time I get downstairs
my hair’s haphazardly parted,
my tie’s in more knots than it should be,
you’re drinking the last cup of coffee
and our daughter’s eating
“What in the world is that?!?”
I tell her to put it down,
hustle to the fridge and apparently
shelves are the only thing
on the breakfast menu.

You make a clever remark,
it catches me off guard
and our offensive words
are fencing unmasked,
suddenly hasting towards
a mate to check
as we hurl them off our chests.
The kitchen
has reached its melting point;
and our love
is quickly evaporating,
‘til all that remains
is wisps of what we once were.

Remembering our child’s presence
we pause
and assume adulthood again.
She’s kneeling on the chair
and her arms, like tender stems
seem to sway effortlessly
as she busies herself
with a puzzle.
Seizing our silence
she stops to say:
“When I grow up,
I want to be glue.”
Perplexed, we begin to see
the image emerge ‘neath her palms.
“I want to be
what holds these pieces together
forever and ever.”
Placing the last piece down,
she looks up at us
and smiles.
It was our marriage photo,
torn and bent,
seemingly un-mendable.
Taking each of our thumbs
she said,
“I want to be
what makes mommy and daddy
one big puzzle again.”

Inexpensive

Her voice,
felt like silken secrets
slipped into the cocktails
we dared not lift
if it meant to miss
a moment of indulgence;
the sly shift of chords
that poured into our synapses
collapsed upon our dam of inhibitions;
and we
were mesmerized.

She was a tease
and nothing could appease
our hunger for more skin,
a pining too insatiable
to ignore.
Our eyes tore at the seams
of her vulnerability,
left her more unveiled
than she ever intended.

Her legs, the border
of the forbidden
opened parallel to my conscious,
then looking away became the sin;
the vice, the gin
became as kin
and she
had us all sold.

Her eyes,
stripped me down
to my bones of contention
and her wink,
settled the dispute;
then for a moment
I was hers,
all hers,
‘til the morn’.

A soft brush of the lips,
the familiar caress
across my face,
the eyes that I proposed to
and promised to love
were looking deep into mine
and a sheepish blush
was all I had to offer.
She pulled me in
then whispered
through soft tears,
“I forgive you.
For better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health
I will cherish you
‘til you love me
as I love you…”