Married to the Muse

by HemmingPlay

Photo by Richard Calmes

We know dark places,
the things we daren’t see. 
We learn, some of us, that
running away
is pointless,
that they are
mere ghosts and shadows and
lost fragments of us, 
longing to be seen.
My back is ribboned by invisible scars
from invisible claws, from my
desperate, abandoned children.

Still, I am always
looking for the
thing just out of reach.
I crave love, but after a life
of it, I choose to be slightly apart. 
I love women, and want them
To know how beautiful
they are. I love
them that way, true,
but I can’t give
myself to them,
I can’t give away part of me.
Not anymore.
I can love, but not be owned.
I don’t have the right.
I am now husband to the Muse,
and she is always calling
me to a dance of mystery
under a full moon,
on the edge of knowing,
to glimpse what’s over the cliff.
She offers me her skin to write on
and mocks my hesitation.
She’s a curse, a mystery, 
And a blessing, too long denied.

I learned, after long years of running,
trying to be someone
only partially living in truth. 
I learned. 
It took a cataclysm. 
Something survived all that,
some tiny golden thread of self,
though completion eludes me still.
I reclaim my birthright
and head homeward, to my nature,
still able to get lost in a high blue sky. 

A 20-year-old can stroll through
falling maple leaves— 
awestruck at the aching violet-blue
of a Western sky
almost to the
edge of space;
watch eagles
ride the wind above the rocky shore—
live in the promise of a great, great life,
in the long day of
glorious summer
that feels as if it
will never end.

I remember the haze, and careless
ecstasy of youth, 
of watching loved ones 
and friends by the light of campfires,  
the nights in the country of tall trees,
all the long miles of highways,  
and carefree days roaming the fields of home. 
I have not forgotten.  

And yet,
all that I was, and have seen, 
all my hates and loves, 
all my travels, and the fear and the running,
all had to unroll 
in just that way 
to bring me to this moment.
What now seems inevitable, was not.
We can
learn to forgive our own foolishness.
The past is unchangeable. 
The future,  unknowable
I seek things 
always just out of reach
and live with ambiguity, 
as we must, if we are
honest pilgrims. 

All for an instant of comprehension, 
with so much to accomplish. 
For a week, a month, a year. 
To the end.

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