when you see me,
know that you are seeing me.
it’s really me,
the real me:
i am small and soft.
i was born loud and bloody and electric,
a boom of potentiality,
a crash-bang of voice and body up against eternity,
a flash by humanity, into humanity, within humanity,
and the size of me was great.
and the nurses rubbed off a little,
and my parents loved off a little and spanked off a little,
and my teachers taught away little by little,
and i gave pieces of me to friends and strangers and lovers,
but the biggest pieces i saved for my children.
and when they were born they left a little of me on the hospital sheets,
and since they were born i’ve been feeding them drops of me, day by day,
until they can feed themselves,
and i’ve hugged and kissed and whispered and yelled and nagged and hurried and lifted and tripped and pulled and pushed and tickled and soothed and snipped and clipped and run and jumped and painted and sung
myself to them,
the world to them,
eternity and humanity and the vastness of the cosmos and the heaviness of a heart to them,
every every every day,
and as they grow taller i am growing smaller.
and when you speak,
know that you are speaking to me,
to pieces of me,
the real me:
small and soft and every every everywhere.
and know that your children hear you speak,
and when the sounds you make enter them,
they are growing taller as you feed them,
as they consume pieces of you:
the real you.
and know that this whole, great big, tiny earth,
this full, full, busy, busy earth,
this vast, parched, flooded, empty earth is so cold when we’re alone,
and we’re all just trying to stay warm.
warm and soft.
and know that you can say whatever you want,
to me or about me,
to your children directly or off to the side, just within their hearing,
and you might think these pieces of you can simply fall:
but no, they will be taken up.
and the sounds you’ve made, when they’re taken up,
will touch me,
and because i am soft, they will leave a mark.
and it will make me smaller.
and i am okay with that.
please just know that i am trying.
trying to stay warm.
trying to be okay with being soft.
trying to keep letting you make me smaller.
trying to let you take what you will.
when i consider the heavens through a glass, dimly,
feel the strength of sinews, the frailty of emotion,
the ripples of a breath upon the waters,
i know that it must be so.
take what you will.
someday there will be too little of me left to know or care.
our words will live on – yours and mine, these pieces of us,
scattered across the cosmos,
rippling the waters of our children and our children’s children,
and the size of them will be great.
Acrylic on board