Hunger of the Heart

hungerEven after many years
Bittersweet memories linger,
Rising out of sleep into the frigid dawn,
Like hot steam rising from the kettle
Though the kitchen is forever bare.
 
At first intense and hot,
Steam disperses in the room,
Memory hides upon silent, fragile cobwebs
Unnoticed for months.
I sweep the day’s dust behind the door,
Count the ways memories sway upon the slightest breeze,
Immeasurable their width and weight.
 
Though I cannot describe their shape,
I know their apparent fragility is deceptive—
Tender as a fragile scent upon a flower,
Yet strong and never break apart,
Intent as knives to find the heart,
Bring me to my knees in wordless prayer.
 
Still, they bring a gift and I refuse
To judge the outcome of this present moment,
Knowing as I do they whisper in the quiet room,
Matter more than poetry conveys,
Focus imprecise, bringing precise needs—
Speak in service of the hurt between me and you.
Patiently I ask forgiveness so I can freely live,
So I can freely die, let go weight borne inside the flesh,
Offer gift of love in acknowledgement of answered prayer.
 
I must do this if I want to go on living—
Accept the pain, the senseless wonder, the keening want—
Making no concession but to the wild desire for love,
Offer it to you as my last will and testament.
If you were here and knew the inner landscape of my soul,
I think you’d know the answer hides in hunger of your heart.

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