Archives for category: relationships

My Life Reincarnate

The moon and the planets
shine just for me now, and the giant
silver poplar has overshadowed me
long enough. Cut it down,

so I will not remember where it
came from so long ago, when
we stole it from a riverbank,
put it in the trunk of my car and
brought it home, an emblem
of our passion.

These days are peculiar,
as though I had given birth
in some faraway place
and come home again at last,
but with no babe in arms,
just my purged self.

My eyes reacquaint themselves
with green grasses, the swan curve
of lily leaves, sprawling nettle,
aging tulip petals strewn about,
remnants of a gone season.

The energy I once poured
into nurturing something
now returns back to me,
like the gentle dead
returning themselves
to the earth.

Like the earth itself,
continually dying
and restored.

Claire Juno, © 2016

The Mind’s Value

This disembodied love
gently retires to the
spirit-corners of his mind,
the way a grown child
lays her beloved doll to rest
for a seeming eternity
in its little bed,

now a container for love’s
history, a personal context
perfectly preserved,
glass-eyed and unaltered
by the years.

That it is there, waiting
for him, ever-expectant,
was a needed security at first,
then a familiar comfort.

This relic of his heart
remains undisturbed
beneath layers of dust
and seasons, like a truth
even tender children
eventually learn.

Claire Juno, © 2016

The Collector

He surrounds himself
with art, as his way
of bringing her back,
or at least finding ways
to be close to her again.

Free-form sculptures
become a silent homage
to the one who inspired him,
who breathed life into his
once-nascent understanding
of everything.

The halls of his home are full
and empty at the same time,
a solemn procession of tributes
to the very one who cannot
return to see them.

All are cold, smooth,
motionless— just like her pale lips
on the last day she was here.

Claire Juno, © 2016

 

Desolation

I am alone in this garden.
Alone with this pain.

I have told you before
how everyone has left me,
all have turned their backs,
all have chosen blindness
for the immunity it affords.
They are cut off from
their compassion.

There is no one to hide me away
from those who wish me harm,
who hate me without cause,
other than their sickness.

And I come to you with nothing left,
with empty hands, with a heart
weighed down by isolation and dread
and by the darkness itself, which seems
deep enough to snuff out my cries.
I know what is coming.

What I have already borne
is too heartbreaking. Though I am
strong and sturdy, the betrayal has
weakened me, has slowed my feet,
garbled my words.

I am afraid.

I have no one I can trust.
My sweat is tinged the color
of these roses in front of me
as I sit in this garden,
feeling unwell and uncertain
and small; powerless to deter
what must overtake me
to fulfill something greater
than myself.

The pain makes my head feel
as if it would burst, and the tears
that stream down offer no respite.
There is no one coming to aid me,
is there. You can hear me but
you do not help me, as much
as it hurts you to see me in this state.

We both agreed to this once upon a time.
Only we underestimated something.
We had no idea what it would actually
feel like to be here among them,
to become one of them. To nurse
from a breast, to learn to use our legs
and form words with our mouths,
to see blood spring from a scraped knee.

To see the sunrise as one of them,
to know friendship as they give and receive it.
To feel the warmth of a fire, an animal;
of brotherhood, of working side by side
until some work is accomplished.

To feel a fever, a lump in the throat,
our stomachs stirring with hunger.
To know the feeling of cool water on our
bodies. To know how they feel, and
what they feel, when they feel anything
in their world.

And now you’ve had me here,
building a life, an occupation, a purpose,
for some time. Enough context to make
the ending even more exquisitely
painful than we already anticipated
it would be.

This has become too complicated,
too wrought with attachments.
And I am certain now the torment
well under way will be unbearable.
It is too much.

That is all I can say
on this horrible night.
Words are escaping me now,
and my heart won’t stop pounding.
It has brought me little peace
to speak honestly to you, to make
my feelings known, in spite of the forces
already at work against me.

I know I am loved,
I know there will be an end
to my suffering, my fear and despair,
and that is all I have in this dark moment.

Claire Juno, © 2015

 

The intention of this writing is rooted in empathy, wondering what this experience could have been like, to the best that I can understand it.

Beast

Soon the mammoth gates will close,
the last petals fall from the rose,
the magic hour lost.

See now a dim light
on the horizon’s edge,
as darkness with its heady charm
runs for cover.

The battle over, a hand
once outstretched to aid
now retreats to safety.
Kindness only gives danger
a foothold.

His captive eternally bruised,
the beast dies moment by moment.
Whose fate would you choose?
The victory belongs to no one.
It seems the spell upon him
cannot be undone.

Claire Juno, © 2015

Allies

I am rusty in French
and you speak fluent Spanish.
Let’s build our tower of Babel
right over here, and throw our
words out the highest window.

We will accomplish great wonders
with the silent diligence of our hands
and the blueprints of our bodies
aligned one on top of the other.

We will find similarities where
they supposed us to be asynchronous,
and use our complements in a united effort
to do what they told us could not be done.

Claire Juno, © 2014

May love rule.

The Exchange

This bee keeps buzzing,
buzzing, flying rings around me.
It wants me, wants what I have.
And I suppose I was born for this.

Still, my strange little heart
beats faster when that bee comes
around, because I know what
he’s up to, what he’s about.
He is a bee, doing bee things,
doing what bees do well.

I know all of this and yet
I remain still, I make no
attempt to discourage him.
I am watchful and aware.
I know when he is near,
and he always seems
to find ways to be near,
as though he wants to
make sure he stays in
my awareness.

And sooner or later,
he’s bound to make his
move, and when he does,
there will be the pulsing
give and take of an exchange
that has bound us to each other
since the beginning of his sort
and mine, and there is nothing
I could do, or would do,
to stop it.

Claire Juno, © 2013

Ex

You were once my are,
my yes, my always.
You were for all time,
until death divided.

You, now my former,
no longer my present,
a stranger to my future;
no more climbing up calendars
together, the seasons blowing
past us in rotation.

You, once my why,
now my nevermore,
I am a fading phantom
on your cold arm as you
migrate to the opposite pole
of our sphere.

You, once my will and my be,
now gone and done.

Claire Juno, © 2016

 

Every Spring I Look

The daffodil greens birth themselves
out of the sleeping dirt, aiming for sunlight.

And there is a part of me that half-expects
your ring to be stuck on one of them,
rising from the grave and ready to tell
the tale of its mysterious disappearance
one fall day some years ago.

Like that woman in the news last spring
who pulled up a carrot from her garden
and found that it had slipped fortuitously
through a ring she lost, and grew as stout
as a finger to wear it on her behalf,
before graciously landing in her salad.

I wonder sometimes if you lost your ring
on purpose, letting me waste the money
on a metal detector and spend
afternoon upon cold afternoon
with our baby strapped to my back,
fruitlessly hunting, and thinking to myself
that with each passing year, wherever it is,
it will sink deeper.

Though come spring there’s a part of me—
the part, I suppose, that also believes in
fairies and wishing wells—
that keeps my eye on the daffodil greens
as they emerge from their winter’s sleep,
just in case one of them has something
to return to me.

Claire Juno, © 2013

 

…apologies to those following along, as they may have seen this one before. This is a re-post. Because it is spring, the daffodils have returned, and I am still looking.

The Return

Here you go,
here is what you asked for.
It was never mine, though
at one time that was
your intention, provided
I deserved it, in your view.

Apparently, I never quite
earned it and there it sat,
in your underwear drawer,
Chiampesan white gold
and diamonds, tucked
into a navy velvet bag, still
wrapped in blue store paper,
a tangle of ribbons

—and the receipt, either a reflection
of how much you esteemed me,
how much you owed me, or
how good I had to be, before it
adorned my neck.

No matter, really.
You have lost the ability
to hurt me, I cannot love
under terms, and I do not want
what you could not give
without condition.

Claire Juno, © 2016