live, we must

image © Mariann Martland

image © Mariann Martland

if there ever comes a day, my love,
when you or i forget
why we are here, in this thing
we named living,
i promise to return to this very spot,
the one
where we realised what dreams are made from.

because you and i were home, and here is where
we built us.

i don’t expect you to stay. i couldn’t ask that
of you, and i never will. in truth, i won’t be
here for too long either, for

what we discovered was too big to contain
in this cocoon, where we fed on each other’s
heartbeats (and skin and breath
and flame). no, i would never ask
you to hold on, even though it pains me, deep,
to watch you
go, and i can hardly find my feet to walk

but we must, you and i. this
space has given us all that we needed:
vision to begin
a life
in the world that once crushed us
together; so entwined were we and
breathing as one.

in here is too small, for we have become vast,
beautifully shaped, independent beings. in here
we have no more room to keep growing, and
out there we cannot survive
we both know this;

we knew it the moment we began
forming in each other’s eyes.

wouldn’t it be just wonderful
if we could? if we could light each fire as bright
as the other, interconnected,
yet separate, without setting alight
all that surrounds, dulling each other’s
magnificence or heat. oh, our heat,
how we can burn!

but we would
burn, turning light into dark, embers
blackened into ash and dirt. even this
space would be raised to the ground,
removed from our memories this safe
and whole and true, live-giving

we would be the death
for the other. and i never want to be

your death, only life: here (given
and received) where we learned
what it means,
how to make it and allow it to multiply and shine;
how we will continue on
to live our lives. we must, we must.

but know this, my love,
on the day
when one or both of our kindred souls forgets
what life is or needs respite
from the light
(if it becomes too harsh or too loud or too
blinding to see a way out or
forward), here is where i will always return.

forever i know your calling, as you know
mine; when our hearts
need to remember
what home feels like, only then can we
return, to here, to
us, where we were born from dying
into living
through the cracked skin of existence;

the taste of your lips
will always call me home.

but for now we must live, we must
love, and know
that while we gave each other this gift we named
only in our dying we can return
here, now we know how and why,
we have some lives
to live in between.

and, my love, i hope you shine.

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