I’m the person who makes her feel better.
and it’s light and airy and innocent …
there are days that pummel her
into submission, and I sense them.
I am ready with a “Hey, are you okay?”
and the response is an honest one —
one that lets me know, she’s holding
“I am trying to be.”
I know that place.
I live in that place more than
I care to admit,
that place is a place where
we find ourselves lost and
wandering aimlessly through
time and actions, and if anyone
is available to save us, we’ll
run straight to them.
she doesn’t need saving, though.
she needs a listener.
I crack jokes.
I talk about the things in life
that make no sense and we agree
as we work and she monitors
my time on calls and I shift
from one aspect of work to another.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” I say. how we can
struggle together and open up
long enough to let the other in?
she agrees. we can chat for
hours about things that crush us.
I know where she’s been.
I know how I got through it,
how I am getting through it, and
we’re both walking different paths,
but it feels like our destinations
aren’t too far from one another.
I offer her a ride.
“Since we’re headed in the same direction.”
there was a wall there — there was.
I have always had a knack for chipping
away at them and sliding through
undetected, and before you know it,
one’s bare before me — their past becoming
one with mine.
it is an amazing thing to see someone
walk away from themselves, pull up
a seat next to another ailing heart,
and release like there will be no tomorrow.
she’s so beautiful when she’s fragile.
she’s even more so when she’s strong.
the hard exterior comes through
on days when patients have gotten
their full fill of long hold times and
the glitches of shoddy software can
eat through the cores of our patience.
I can see her falter — lose her sense of peace.
And I step in — “Are you going to make it?”
a simple question returns a simple answer.
and we move on from that place
that can turn into darkness if
I do not send enough light, but I do.
and she waits for it.
and even when my darkest days
salsa right before me, I can
remove my stilettos, slip my
gown over my head, sling my
jewelry across the room, and
invite her to get naked with me.
and there in the most silent
of silences, we stand — free
of inhibitions, wary no more,
aware that whatever else may come,
we have the tools to