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A Collection On Loving and Letting Go

Layered Excerpts

The following reflections are the result of two years spent learning how to hold hope, grief, and love in the same place. In spite of myself, I’ve grown more comfortable opening up to my own emotional depth as a way to live more authentically. Sharing this collection of thoughts is a conscious exercise in exploring intimacy — with myself just as much as all of you.

God of Women and Man

You are creation walking. Bearing fountains of youth on your chest like medallions of gold.

You laugh deeper, tread lighter, and carry more.

You speak softly in rooms that fall silent to hear the gentle tones that are your voice. 

You are woman and mother. 

A sister and lover.

A divinely crafted and imperfect being.

A beautifully tender and human thing.

God damn the soul that doesn’t see you for your magic. 

I look at you and see the wonder of mystery incarnate.

Some would call it sin to bow to any other than our creator but I would gladly sacrifice my life and an eternity after to fall to my knees at your feet in your worship.

With a promise to keep your taste safe upon my lips.

Closely watched and savored like the most precious of gifts.

My arms will be a place of rest as my fingertips make music of your skin. 

A gently flowing song tracing a river down my chin.

I give you my tongue in love. 

Trap your moans in delicate spaces. 

Our mouths create a home for the words we dare not say in other places. 

Our wanting becomes cloaked in silence.

An infinite embrace at an end. 

Bodies given back to the lives we lead behind dark and heavy doors. 

Once more held by the less tender lovers we claim but care not for.

***

hand reaching up to tree

Washing of the Hands

I washed their hands one by one.

A dozen souls or more.

At my feet to be cleansed.

Fingers sprawled against linen

Open

Splayed

In preparation for the taking

The length of each digital bone stretched across 

the warmth of my palms.

Wet.

A Soothing cool.

We whispered prayers to each other.

In heartbeats 

And soft moans.

Inhaling my exhale 

as a thank you for being.

This moment, ours.

Holy.

Under watchful waiting eyes.

May this confession render us sanctified.

***

Dear Nana, 

You will live forever in these pages.

Your memory soaked in ink.

Scribbled moments.

A Presence captured. 

Emotion pictures stilled.

Animated in text.

An eternity of Dialogue trapped in the worn fibers of dead things repurposed. 

Unburdened by gravity.

A life suspended.

What is it like to be weightless?

It sounds a lot like liberated. 

Like freedom.

Sounds a lot like stories retold

For fact-checking.

Like white heroes back brown.

Like brown skin magic tricked gold.

Like forehead kisses drenched in cocoa butter.

Like arms wrapped around necks and lengthy limbs in love.

In grief. 

In pain.

Like support. 

Like “I hear you”

Like “I love you.”

Like “I am STILL here.”

Like a reminder that you don’t have to do this life alone.

Like this life has been lived a thousand times before.

Like you’ve overcome this life a thousand times or more.

Like we can be rewritten at any moment we choose.

Let me bind you to these pages.

Remember you in hardcover. 

With a soft hand.

Scrawled across forests compacted into pocket things. 

This will be your story.

And I will read you for another lifetime

To myself.

To my children.

And to the angels.

Who have read this book…

Your book before. 

***

On Saying Goodbye

I forgot how hard goodbyes have always been for me.

The aching. The creeping fear of years apart in direct conflict with the reality of how subject to change all things are. 

I can talk myself through it now. But I remember my younger self and I think of the words she couldn’t find to say “I’ll miss you.” Instead, there were tears that drenched me like heavy rain.

How earth-shattering departing always seemed to be.

I was transported back to that rain today. In the backseat of my dad’s weathered car just outside my nana’s aging porch. 

I was there seatbelt fastened waving to the loved ones I hadn’t seen in ages and wondering how many more ages would pass before we saw each other again.

I can honor how hard it was to leave for me back then.

I take note now of every tear that was shed.

Give each emotion due time.

Knowing that the tightness in my chest is an “I love you” too big to escape my throat.

The tears are what make it out. They find the path of least resistance and pour from my eyes to fill the spaces words can not. 

I want to let the ones I love know how desperately I wish I could hold on to them forever while painfully accepting that one more hug will have to do.

But I’m learning to let go. To release. Detach. 

To lead with grace.

All the while loving just as fully. 

Feeling just as deeply.

With a better sense of stability.

“Those who’ve chosen to keep you will come back.”

I can see in every goodbye an opportunity for newness to find its way between now and the next hello. Just letting it be and hugging me in the meantime.

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