For my wife. I so deeply value the space and safety she’s given me to grow, to heal, to find my voice. She cared for me and protected me for years, and then she did something much, much harder – when I got my feet under me again, she stepped back. She let me change, let our relationship evolve. She didn’t need me to stay an invalid for her to feel important. She didn’t force me to stay weak so that she could be strong.
If I live five hundred years, it might be long enough to catch me up on what I owe her just for the seven years we’ve had together so far. It’s a moving target, an unreachable goal, and as an absurdist, I like that. May I sink ever further in her debt, and may I never stop striving to even the score.
You who could see through the ones and zeroes
saw through me. You who always missed her cue
showed me I was waiting for something too –
for someone who saw us both as heroes.
Nothing’s meaner than a dog chained too tight.
I defended my scrap of misery
and howled when you tried to take it from me.
But you didn’t run when I tried to bite.
I lost my words – you gave me loving numbers.
I lost my way – you found me in the dark.
I couldn’t love my flesh – I loved your marks.
Didn’t let go when it pulled me under
when glass got in my eyes and froze my heart
you gave me an invincible summer.