Coming To (poem)

Coming To

An F.e.Feeley Jr / Dan Stone poem

Him:

I’m giving back the ring.
It’s the last “no” to the questions
we could never answer,
the ones we never asked.
The last step outside
the circle we could
never really manage
to complete.
It’s our fade to black,
our exit stage left and right.
Consider it a token
of regret, a not so
fond farewell,
my “J’ai fini.”

Me:

How were we strangers?
When I know you down
to the scar on your hip
and your cool gray eyes
when i got down on one knee
I tasted the salt on your mouth
and now this ring, a token not of
regret but all that was broken
between two men
How did this happen?
This Au Revior
but there is no good in goodbye
J’en ai fini avec toi

Him:

You would go there,
bring your lips to my ear
and whisper what I’ll miss,
make this ache even more,
remembering how you kissed
that scar, convinced me
it would heal
when all we did
was tear the tender pieces
of our faith apart,
demonstrate how much
we both misunderstood.
I can’t forget your hand
resting on my heart,
your sighs in your sleep,
your feet warming mine,
but I’ll still make that claim
and wish I could.

Me:

I see,
I saw what you did there,
took what I said what I felt
and made it into war
this isn’t about disunity
this is about fear
of letting go of what you were
before we met
of what that braided claddah white gold ring meant
we joined more than nethers to nethers
we became a consecrated union of souls
where I must die and you must die
to birth something new and you now
circumspect, suspicious, and beautiful
still
blame me if you must and lie to yourself
but there is no forgetting as there is no unloving,
no unwinding of what we’ve done

Him:

What would you have me do?
If our scaffolding
still stands,
our bridges haven’t burned
why are you just
standing there,
me over here
both lobbing
weightless words
and turning phrases,
talking what we
cannot hear
or find a way
to wander through?
Where was your certainty
when I needed you
to hold it—me—close,
to bend so we don’t break?
Could it be
we only comprehend
the fear, the grip
and gasp of death
the mess we make
and not the labor,
not the long deep breath
needed after birth?

Me:

put my ring on
is what I’d have you do
as the bow has broken
and the cradle has shattered
on the floor
our masks are stripped away
leaving us more naked
in each other’s eyes than
the bed we’ve shared
I do hold you
as I’ve held you
as I’ll always hold you
I know no certainty, no vow,
no prayer
and without you no pride of place
except for the burning in my gut
and the wretched wraiths of loneliness
howling between my ears , now
I know. I know!
Curse you and damn you!
What would I have you do?
Love me and live and die for me
and kiss and cry and bleed for me
and let us breathe only the air
that exists between us
And the mess we’ve made

Him:

Is this the truth
we’ve wrung from
both our hands,
dug up from our
trench of frowns
our balled up fists?
Could we just now
be coming to?
Are you just now
seeing me unclothed,
unarmed, unbound
by all I hoped
you’d never see,
and are you telling me
it’s what you’ve waited for?
I never knew.
I never even dreamed
this nakedness
could be enough.
I hope this hope,
this match we’ve struck
is all it seems, more
than everything
I’ve been afraid to want,
the blood the sweat
the sweet the salt
the flesh and bone,
a love that rockets
through the midnight sky,
this sun and moon
rising, setting
in our eyes,
this ring back on,
this making up.

Me:

Yes

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