The God of Open Palms
I am the hand of a man
cross-stitched with calluses
the texture of burlap
with no dirt beneath my nails
I am here four fingers with a missing thumb
dismembered from my body
wanting something to hold
hoping there is anything
your heart (now grown cold)
like a peach
I am soft
as that hole in the head of a baby
I reach thumbless and numb
but you are humming
on the radio
the news bewilders us all my dear, I fear I cannot fix the world
yet I try I do
are holding a glass up to the sun
to see if you left
this is the psalm of my open palm
I am waiting for
life lines and love lines & nothing
Did you ever write something a long time ago and come upon the words many years later and wonder what the hell? And feel like you were trying to say something you could not see yet or perhaps feared? I wrote this before I met my husband. This past weekend was the 20th anniversary of the day I met him. (I'd had a first marriage from the age of 17- 24. I know. Never mind.) I was alone for the better part of 12 years. And now, I'm 18 years merry-ed. Merry-age. Yes, that was how we spelled it on our wedding invitation.
It was July. In my parent's backyard. Gilles' mother and my father officiated as we said our vows in English and in French. There were flowers and balloons. My boys walked me down the path. My husband inherited two teenagers and a traumatized dog we'd rescued from the shelter. I had married friends who thought I was nuts --love would fade and why marry? Just wait, they said. You'll see. He was the one who must have been crazy.
What I see in the picture above is what I know now. I learned to trust. Again. I married a good and patient man.
Yes, he's building a house, I'm writing a book. He reads The Complete Book of Plumbing, I'm re-reading a book on literary theory. He loves grey. I'm purple. We're not opposites, we're not even complementary, but we intersect like those life lines and love lines. We've been through much and we are still in love. Like many, many couples I meet. For real. Not in the celebrity world of well, celebrities.
When you give your hand completely I think this means you trust the other person will be there to help you with the splinters and try their very best not to hurt you. Trust me, trust can happen. There is true love and great love. Might takes needles and tweezers to get out the splinters. These days there's so many stories of cheaters and abusers and opportunists and unhappy marriages, I just wanted to say there is such a thing as HOPEFUL ever after. A union where your higher selves can go on a canoe ride or go get the groceries and it's all the same. Roller coaster. Ferris Wheel. My wedding band is a wave. There is no land of perfect, but to me, trust is no small miracle. It also helps if you have an imagination--- your own inner space.
SO I'm starting to understand the poem-- I think. No, I do not take hallucinatory drugs.
It is cool to be cool. I am not cool but corny and a fool for love. I'm going to go play Someone Like You by Van Morrison. IF you read this blog, leave a comment and tell me, what's your favourite love song?