Before I Knew You
I did not know that pieces of me would fall before you — your hands cradled at the base of my neck, soothing built-up tension — years of me trapped in a soulless body, afraid to seek the light. But, then you came . . . Your wild wonder tempted me — cajoled my heart into order and my mind quickly followed. I will write of you — I will share these words with the world. They must know of your captivating light, of your equally astonishing presence. And, in so doing, I will paint a picture of the moon paired with the sun — the entwining of two bearers of light. Of you. Of me. Of us.
You came, you left your mark/Oh, how lovely is your touch/The splendor of your voice lights up the dark/My love — this heart needs you so much/I know this time of us is short/It’s bleak, at best/But know that with you here, memories become a sport/My days of living, no longer a test.
Your charm, your flattery, how crisp and fresh you were. I leaned into the scent of you and watched my husband watch me yearn to get to know you. Intent — what was it? Was it there? Your writing, ages before mine, popularity could kill the cat with its brute force. You searched for me. Why me? I, this lowly thing of a woman who spent more time with words than with my own species, what lured you to me? Some sort of enigmatic being. Mad. Crazy. Brilliant. Genius. Labeled all these things by those known and unknown to me, yet you sniffed at my feet only once and summed me up in seconds.
Vita, I have no doubt in me, I’ve set it free/Before you, my love will reign/Let’s stick this out, let’s live and be/I have him and you have me, but guide me slowly, please/With you around, I feel supreme, not the same/My mind on pause, my soul at ease.
Caught by your words — by your warm presence. Your skin touching mine, your breath near my lips. I can feel you even when you’re not around. I slip in and out of me, sometimes losing myself to the wind in the trees. I know the walls of institutions — asylum(ed) for the certifiably insane. I know the lies on the tongues about me. I know the truths too. You know what you know, still, you slip your fingers inside my warmth and a world of passion is born. This woman — this woman you found, was not here before.
I came for you in my dreams — determined to make those dreams real. I searched and searched and searched for you. I know what words can do, how they lasso and trap prey. I used mine to call you — to bring you forth. What I did not know, what I could not know, was how easily you would fall into my palms. I have you. You are here. I linger in the lush places of your body — seeping into your skin. I am found in you. You brought me here. In the haven of our restful peace, I am born again. I will never leave you alone, while I travel — my words will keep you company. We will be one. Solidified. United. Us.
I fell for your words, soon fell for your heart/Called you to me, pulled you in close/You came at my beckoning, you knew from the start/My soul caught in the stronghold of yours, permanent pose/We will always be this, we will never part.
I am younger, this is nothing. It will not stop me. My husband knows — he sees us. I tell him of you, of me, of how we can be more. His jealousy is fire but I will not burn. I will run to you, I run to you, I am running to you. At the speed of declining book sales and rapidly spread diseases, I press forward. Unstoppable for you. They threaten the removal of my boys, my money, and my mind, but — I still run to you.
Virginia, it was you, always you/I knew from the moment we met/That night at the party, you stood clearly in view/It’s embedded in my brain now, I cannot forget/I may slip, I may dabble in a few others/But from you, away will never be a thing/We are more than just lovers.
I think it happened. I broke your heart. I am avoiding it, you see. What we need are words — our writing, it strengthens us. I hear it breaking but do nothing. I want you. I don’t want you. I want you. I spiral down quickly and you look for me in the bend of the branches, in the fiber of your clothes. I am in your home, you are in mine. They told me you stood at the rocks, you watched the sea roar. You almost took your life there. I held you in my heart — pulled you out at that moment, you stepped back and away from the sea’s mouth. Not today, you thought. Not today. You lived to love me a little longer.
I became your Orlando. You became my Orlando. I lived on for years. You lived on for years. We are torn apart now. We are torn apart now. We were once whole.
We were once whole.
Author’s Note: Vita & Virginia, 2018, is the true love story of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. I watched this movie and instantly felt a connection to both women. Sometimes, we lean into those with whom we can connect the most. As writers, the two of them understood the depth of words and how to market them. On the subject of their love affair, I feel as though Virginia gained more and loss even more than Vita. If you want to know about their story, you can read the article above and watch the movie too. They’re both worth it.
Creative content straight from the mind of an innovator trying to shift the world with her writing.