life-long learning

'She's so vulnerable
Like china in my hands'
 
I remember singing along to those lines and each time wondering about that strange word, vulnerable,
trying different pronounciations, not really understanding what it wanted to say.
its meaning for me became an exact extrapolation from that image of broken pieces of china.
 
All my life I've known I never wanted to be china in anyone's hands.
I have spent years meditating on the phrase "if he broke her, where would the pieces fly?"
(never mind my disrespect for the context Jeanette Winterson provided for it)
and each time I used it as a charm against whatever unknown thing I was warding off,
my skin grew just a little bit thicker, (wait, are those scales?)
my tolerance for uncertainty a little weaker.
And me, I lost another chance to chase what I wanted and suffer the consequences of really living.
 
It is easy to confuse a devotion to self-sufficiency with strength,
and cultivating real vulnerability- having understood the actual meaning of the word at age 33-
feels like learning how to walk all over again.
 
Even so, I vow to not shy away from stretched out hands just because they might break me.
To remind myself that, yes, vulnerable means open to attack, but it also means capable of being wounded.
And to remember, always, that before anything shattered into pieces, it was once beautiful.
 
 
 
 

origin story

Abstraction extrapolated from metaphor,
my fingers digging, desperately, for the origin of some thought,
any- to touch
Caressing expressions, poems, they find hope and they rest for a moment
Physicality replaced by inflections and rhymes
my words stumbling out, running, reaching everywhere-
falling hard on busy streets, their echoes competing with the sound of beer and Wednesday evening,
their subtext dissolving in the polluted air and sweet shisha smoke, and so
what now?
 
If I cannot name it, will I ever find it?
 

Mona Lisa's tear

For years I've been the guardian of this place
watched the comings and goings of travellers
who never thought to thank any god
for arriving here in one piece. 
My gaze- you might call it the male version of Mona Lisa-
has rested comfortably on the ordinariness of this urban motion; 
this urban emotion.
 
But here I am, with this tear perpetually tattooed onto my face. 
A tear for those who will never again feel the salty taste of their own tragedy;
a tear for those who have run out of tears to cry.
 
The urban emtion of this place is forever changed from ordinary to existentially disorderly.
And my Mona Lisa-eyes have become one with a city in mourning.
Not secretively smiling, but desperately holding the broken pieces together. 
 
 

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