We are stepping back from each other
like a pointillist painting in a museum,
you say. Standing too close
for too long, we can see
nothing but masses of brushstrokes
that fight each other.
We have to move back
for the chaos to resolve
into meaning again.
I've been struggling with that chaos
for months now, but it takes
space to sort things out
in my head and heart
and set them to rights,
air them, shake the wrinkles out.
Once I wanted you to move
wholesale into my life, bag and baggage,
shrinking myself to fit snugly around you.
Now I remember that sitting too long
in one position, as comfortable
as it was, makes me stiff.
Alone in my own home, now
I'm seized with fits of energy
at midnight, inspired to clear
the dust from the closets, the floors,
my dreams. Catharsis:
Without you inside my skin
I find there's room in here for me.
September 25, 1996