Hold me, my Love,
I’ve lost my dreams
—sluiced away as cotton candy after rain.
Hold me, my Love, can
you stay the night? in my dreams
The afternoon after the poem in the night, four hours before the wedding party:
The ache in my body as this poem wrote itself and woke me last night was as physical as an iron cannon atop a fort wall it can no longer protect, and as lonely.
Which does not mean my mind was not baffled. It, or I, prides itself on managing well, managing well without a man in my bed, managing to keep static interference from forming a wall between myself and what is beyond the tangible. At the grocers, others contemplate which flavors of ice cream to buy. I contemplate the flavors of time, love, space, and what the cashier is thinking as she or he tallies my groceries.
It is perhaps relevant, though, that my dog was not in bed with me, cozying up as the nights turn cold—or close enough I can reach him if I wake for a bit. His soft warm fur, his tolerance of a kiss on his sleek jaw, his peace when I hum “om” against his skull.
He was not here because there is a wedding party here tonight—I am waiting for the caterers to arrive—and my dog would spend the evening patrolling for food.
So what was it with this poem? This seeming calling for a lover? This seeming destitution? This searing admittance of need, and of grief? It seemed all of these, but made no sense to my mind.
Waiting for the caterers, I realize “my Love” is not a man (though that could be nice) but is my reservoir of Love, a well of Love that spreads to the harried or content cashier and the harried or content me, a Love that comes not so much from me as through me.
I was calling on that Love to hold me through the difficulty of losing beliefs and dreams—dreams washed away by deliberate cruelties and random happenstance. Are floods happenstance? Is abandonment of people who have been flooded happenstance? Is war happenstance? Is famine caused by war happenstance?
These things have worn at my belief in benevolence. They make me cry inside, a cave where tears form crystalline stalactites.
Humans have forced reality on me. Some people sheltered others with their bodies when the shooting started, while others were trampled by those fleeing.
It’s a mix.
The flowers were delivered this morning, a mix of soft lavenders, dark purples, whites, and palest greens, roses, tulips, hydrangeas, even baby pink cabbage leaves. When the caterers arrive I will say “The tall vase goes there, don’t you agree?” and “That is for the entryway.” They will be spread through the house like a blessing, like belief.
This is a first wedding of a couple in their forties who have been together for some time. They have a good chance.
My reservoir of love will hold me, regardless of the slip-sliding of dreams and raining away of spun sugar.
Love will refresh me through the night as I sleep. That is not a belief, it is knowledge.
The day after the wedding party:
And so the flowers were spread through the house. One hundred or more people arrived, were greeted by chardonnay, and then they, too, spread through the house in blessing and belief, and joy and comfort.
Food was passed on trays. The bride and groom were radiant. Toasts were given, laughter cycled above our heads. Some people sang show tunes around the piano. The last left around 3 am.
In my dreams I sang in ancient keening languages, my cries ascending in golden plumes to the beyond. People didn’t know what to do with me. The teacher told me to stop. I told him he had yet to learn this language. I did not wake, but I remember, and am held.