Postcard 12-Corey Ruzicano

i have this picture in my head
from a few years ago
                     just a few frames
                     just a snatch of maybe seven seconds
of you standing to greet me
from the table of some tiny thai restaurant
and the light from telegraph avenue fills your whole face
with the rising glow of late september
and it feels like
for a moment
the sun is rising all around us
 
i’ve been carrying around this story of you for eleven years.
turning my heart into a calcified crystal glass menagerie,
                     (laughable
                     to have read tennessee williams 27 times only to finally get it now)
guarding it fearfully
too afraid to hold it up to the light anymore
lest anyone see it
lest any corner chip
lest it not shine as purely
                     as brightly as i’ve told myself it must
                                          it must
                                          because otherwise eleven years is longer than i’ve ever believed in
anything else and what if i’d been believing in nothing all this time and what did that mean about
me to have believed in nothing more than this story all this time, nothing more except perhaps
the power of stories and the people who tell them well which is in fact maybe all
i’ve done here:
                                                        not loved you
                                                        but told myself a story into love
                                                        or told myself a story
                                                        of loving
                     that maybe i didn’t have that in me
                     the ability to love someone like that
                                          up close
                                          and in time
                     maybe that just wasn’t something for me
                     that maybe i’ve kept this bruise of you fresh
                     for more than a decade
                     pressing on it
                     routinely
                     kept things soft for you here
                     you: the proof that i can feel something
                     even if it’s only hurt
                     that i have a heart that breaks
                     even if only on the side of you
 
                     i will survive this,
                     i say.
                     and i did.
                     and i do.
 
there’s nothing to say,
                     nothing to do
i say, the sand and the pearl at once.
 
you should just know that you’ve been loved.
i say,
and can’t manage to feel any shame despite my years of practice.
the glass menagerie is as beautiful as i’d always thought
but so much heavier in the dark than it is here in the open air
and the wild wind of late september in fort green park.
 
looking into your eyes
i can’t feel anything
but awe at the miracle
of both the ability to feel something so plainly true
and the freedom that comes with its exposure.
saying it aloud
finally
the story was true
                     because stories usually are
 
my heart squeezes in my chest,
my breast bone swells to meet it.
 
this curse
this blight
this plague
this blister
this love
was a gift
                     regardless of return
the gift itself,
i marvel,
is being able to
being inspired to
love
without any expectation of return
 
it’s waiting wood and sulfur all this time
for someone to strike you just the right way
to catch you at just the right moment
to spark what was there all along
somehow loving you
made loving myself
easy in the most uncomplicated way
 
sweet friend,
i am still writing love poems to you
but they aren’t for you
they’re for me
 
we call it love
but this kind
i might as well call freedom
i love you for free
so finally
i am
this love
or whatever we call it
moves untethered in both directions,
even if it was only mine—and it’s so full of light, it feels
                     for just a few frames
                     for just a snatch of maybe seven seconds
like the sun is rising all around me.

 

COREY RUZICANO

Corey Ruzicano is a writer-educator from the san francisco bay area trying to make sense of this world through words. her writing can be found at howlround, stage & candor, the lark blog and wingless dreamer.

“it is absurd to look for a well, at random, in the immensity of the desert. but nevertheless we started walking.” le petit prince.

 

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